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‘Nigeria, others need synergy to remove barriers to trade under AfCFTA’


In order to take advantage of opportunities in the continental market created under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) deal, there is a need for synergy and openness among African businesses, especially in addressing barriers to trade.
This was the view of stakeholders involved in the Africa CEO Forum and Nigerian manufacturers.According to them, the world is looking back to new markets in the light of global trade war, even as the era of protectionism is gradually coming to an end as global value chains are being created while competitiveness is being enhanced.
To drive this agenda, the BUA Group on Monday, signed a pact with the Africa CEO Forum to strengthen trade, investment and intra-African economic growth.Chairman, BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, during the signing ceremony in Lagos, said that the partnership was to strategically position the private sector to drive the effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Rabiu, represented by the Group Chief Operating Officer, Chimaobi Madukwe, said that Africa was forging a new path for itself to foster sustainable wealth and development for the continent.He said that Africa CEO Forum platform brought together Africa’s influential business leaders and decision makers to evolve policies and solutions that would shape African economic agenda.
“The collaboration with the Africa CEO Forum is in line with our ambition and commitment to the growth of the African continent, especially now that we have signed the AfCFTA.“We need that synergy, openness and interaction to expand the African market, and the kind of development that Africa economy needs has to be private sector driven,” he said.
Rabiu said that BUA Group was expanding its footprint across Africa and stressed the need to leverage the strength of each country through collaboration that would enhance economic integration, competitiveness and prosperity in the continent.
“As a key business and investor in Nigeria and Africa, one of the many ways to show BUA Group’s commitment beyond our numerous investments and social impact initiatives is to support platforms that will encourage business-business and business-government engagement whilst proffering workable solutions to Africa’s development needs”, he added.

Also speaking, President and Founder of the Africa CEO Forum as well as the Managing Director of Jeune Afrique media group, Amir Ben Yahmed, said that the forum was committed to unlocking Africa’s economic potential by championing private sector-led growth, advancing discussions around innovative public policies and sustainable business.He said that businesses thrive within networks as Africa required more collaboration within and across industries to strengthen trade and investment.
“The CEO Forum has become the platform that allows African business leaders and governments to chart a new course for stronger economic integration,” he said.Yahmed disclosed that the 2020 Africa CEO Forum would hold from March 9 to March 10, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
He commended the partnership with BUA, saying it demonstrates the active commitment of the Nigerian private sector to Africa’s economic growth and explained that the forum will keep seeking to identify new business opportunities with the world’s most influential business leaders, create unrivalled networking platform with top decision-makers, give exclusive insights on the most promising investment projects in Africa and build lasting relationships with government officials who are looking to create strong alliances and business partnerships.

In his opening, O’tega Ogra, Group Head, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, said the partnership with the Africa CEO Forum is in line with BUA Group’s “Africa by Africans for Africa” vision. 
According to Ogra, “BUA Group is proud to partner with the Africa CEO Forum which has over the years, cemented its place as the largest Africa Focused business summit.  It is our expectation that this partnership between BUA Group and the Africa CEO Forum will unlock opportunities in Africa by championing private sector-led growth, leading discussions around innovative public policies and sustainable business”.


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