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The role of the private sector in promoting pull approaches for development in Africa

After exploring the Push and Pull approaches to development, this panel aims to examine the role of the organized private sector in driving policies and providing an enabling environment for economic advancement in Africa. The organized private sector includes banks, stock exchanges, and private policy think tanks that contribute to shaping the development landscape. They facilitate trade and provide funding for businesses such as SMEs to thrive. However, these institutions face significant challenges in supporting businesses with funding due to high inflation trends in some African countries. Additionally, national trade, fiscal, and physical policies play distinct roles that must be clarified.

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Africa’s 2022 inflation

One major challenge to economic advancement in Africa is trade between African countries. To address this, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was established to create a single market for goods and services between 54 African Union (AU) member states, facilitate free movement of people, capital, and ideas. While it was signed on March 21, 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda, and entered into force on January 1, 2021, after being ratified by at least 22 AU member states, its impact is yet to be fully felt. Factors impeding its implementation include the need to harmonize trade policies and regulations, improve infrastructure and logistics, and address political and security issues.

Given the uncertain market conditions and the impediments to trade, the organized private sector in African countries needs to harmonize these differences urgently. This panel, led by Aig-Imoukhuede, Former GMD of Access Bank and founder of the Africa Initiative for Governance, will elucidate the best global practice frameworks for tackling the difficult policy problems facing Africa. It will provide insight for the governance sector on how to drive policy and guidance to innovators and entrepreneurs on how to utilize existing opportunities, access capital and drive impact to solve Africa’s problems. The panel will explore how to drive trade, solve inflationary trends, provide local funding for local ideas, and improve fiscal, physical, governance, and trade policies locally and internationally to facilitate collaboration, technological development, and trade.

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