Chipo Chaumba Business Reporter
Deliberations on operationalising the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – which came into effect earlier this year – will take centre stage at the next CEO Africa Roundtable Summit next March in Harare.
The CEO Africa Roundtable is a membership based grouping of chief executives from the continent who shape business, and AfCFTA is considered by African businesses as a critical platform for harnessing unfettered access to markets in the Sub Saharan African region. AfCFTA is the world’s largest free trade area with 54 member countries, including Zimbabwe. Speaking to the Herald Finance and Business yesterday, CEO Africa Roundtable executive director, Kipson Gundani said AfCFTA resonates with Africa’s vision of the 4th industrial revolution.
“Central to the discussions will be the 4th industrial revolution, which comes at a time when we now have the Continental Free Trade Area. We want to see how the Continental Free trade area feeds into the 4th industrial revolution,” he said.
The conference, which will run under the theme, “Problem-Zero, What’s in it for Africa,” will also look at other economic aspects like technological advancements, thought leadership and also how to deal with the geo-political and economic matrix across the region.
This comes at a time Africa has positioned itself on an industrialisation path taking on board the concept of open markets in order for economies to realise better growth prospects.
But with the political matrix always ever present in Africa’s economic dynamics, key political figures such as opposition party, Alliance for People’s Agenda leader, Dr Nkosana Moyo and Tanzania’s former president Jakaya Kikwete are also expected to grace the event.
“We believe that politics shape society. It shapes economies so if we continue to shy away from politics, we tend to lose out, so we have to break that barrier between politics and business,” Mr Gundani added. The conference is also expected to bring many business shapers across the continent with side workshops and deal rooms, which are expected to bring project promoters and investors in the same room with the intention of generating business.