President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been adjudged the African of the Year, 2021 by Forbes Africa magazine.
According to the magazine, the Ghanaian President has repositioned the country in the global marketplace as one reliant on its own resources and strengths.
Speaking to CNBC Africa after the unveiling on Friday, December 3, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said, he is overwhelmed by the recognition given him by Forbes Africa.
“For the African version of the magazine to pick on me, I’m very grateful for me,” he told CNBC Africa.
When asked what this award means to him, Nana Akufo-Addo said, it means the world is looking at the work [his government] is doing here in Ghana and it is an inspiration for “us and it is an encouragement for us to continue to go down the path that we set ourselves.”
He indicated that, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has been on the table for a very long time and its establishment being in the continent is an important first step.
“It means we are now talking about the possibility, the rules are now being made as we go along, the training has begun – we began on January 1…considerable amount of the rules and regulations is to be put in place to make it function equitably for the nations continent is now in place and implications are enormous. Suddenly, traders, producers, manufacturers, spotters and the market of 1.2 billion people as the target.
“The projections are that, the market is going to be a market of 2.5 billion in 30 years’ time , so we are talking about a major trading bloc if it functions effectively and those who have the opportunity to exploit the possibilities of this are going to reap big dividends. So, what we have been trying to do here in Ghana apart from struggling to have a secretariat here is also to prepare our business community to be able to maximize the opportunities…16% of the collective GDP of the 64 states in Africa derive from Intra African trade, is the lowest of any trading group in the world as compared to European Union…which is 75% of the collective GDP generated from Intra European trading…so there is all the advantages if you are being able to trade with yourself…we have not been focusing on trading among ourselves.
“The focus has been on looking outside the continent for trade and investments. The market now exists for us and our first priority is how to expand trade with our neighbours and trade within our continent…and I am particularly happy that Ghana has been honoured by her peers to be responsible for the secretariat…I’m very happy with Ghana’s association with the trade project and I like the way you described it as the trade capital of Africa,” he told CNBC Africa reporter Peace Hyde.
On her part, Renuka Methil, Managing Editor, Forbes Africa, indicated that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo greatly deserves the honour.
She explained, “This is the fourth year of the award. He joins an elite club of his peers in Africa who have internationally recognized. We started with Paul Kagame of Rwanda (2018), Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group (2019) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, World Trade Organisation (2020).
“We have the President of Ghana as the African of the Year particularly for his consistency, he assures. He has definitely done his bit in raising the international profile of his country and also for the rest of Africa…he is actually pushing the boundaries for not just Ghana, but for the rest of Africa."
The Forbes African of the Year award is always given to an African with global reputes, a visionary who is willing to bring serious reforms to the country he lives in.
African Business News' “African of the Year” award recognises Africans that have made an impact on the continent.
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