President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the global investor community to establish a strong presence in Africa given the huge development prospects on the continent.
“Africa needs you, and you need Africa,” he said, adding that the continent, in spite of its development challenges, was well placed to do business with the investor community.
The continent was busily building the world's largest single market of 1.3 billion people, expected to facilitate trade and payment systems, he said.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America.
“Already, goods and services are flowing more freely across our artificial borders,” he said, with a renewed commitment towards inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and economic integration.
President Akufo-Addo said it had become clear today more than ever before, the importance of the strength and unity of Africa, with the leaders working assiduously to shed that image of a helpless and hapless continent.
In line with the Africa Union's Agenda 2063 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa's ambition was to transform its food systems over the next decade.
“What we require now is support from the investor community for the rolling out of this lucrative agro-industry,” he added.
The President urged African leaders to see the crisis that confronted the continent as an opportunity to achieve a breakthrough in the development agenda of the people.
“Incidentally, 2022 is billed as Africa's year to take action on food and nutrition development goals.”
“We see the current geo-political crisis as an opportunity to rely less on food imports from outside the continent, and use better, our 60 per cent of the global share of arable lands to increase food production.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that the continent had come to realise the devastating impact of relying on Russia and Ukraine for 70 per cent of its wheat consumption.
The recent crisis between the two countries, he said, had come with its attendant negative consequences on Africa, hence the need for the continent to champion its own cause to enhance food security and sufficiency.
“We have enough land, enough water, enough gas and enough manpower to produce enough fertilizer, food and energy for ourselves and for others,” he said.
On economic empowerment, the President said the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, with its office in Accra, was driving intra-African trade and creating unparalleled momentum for economic diversity and transformation.
He cited how Ghana, for instance, had taken measures to process more of its cocoa, refine more of its gold, and was determined to exploit the entire value chain of the country's huge lithium deposit.
“Ghana is also building an integrated bauxite and aluminium industry, as well as an integrated iron and steel industry, building new oil refineries, and had, so far, attracted six of the world's biggest automobile manufacturers to assemble and set up manufacturing plants in Ghana prior to producing them in the country,” the President said.
Several African countries had inflation rates surging three to four times higher than what they were two years ago, he said, and Ghana was experiencing the highest inflation for 21 years.
The 77th session of the UN General Assembly opened on Tuesday, September 13, with the high-level debate running from September 20-26.
This year's theme: “A Watershed Moment: Transformative Solutions to Unlocking Challenges,” acknowledges the shared roots of crises such as COVID-19, climate change and conflict, as well as the need for solutions that build global sustainability and resilience.