Mrs Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, the Namibian Ambassador to Ghana, has called on Africans to enhance personal relationships across the continent to advance the ideals of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
She said socialising across the continent would help in the appreciation of iridescent culture and build synergy for the development of trade and industry.
The Ambassador made the call at the maiden Ho Tourism, Real Estate and Investment EXPO, an initiative by the Municipal Assembly, towards promoting the business potential of the capital of the Volta Region.
She said personal relationships would build confidence among Africans and enhance the patronage of locally produced goods and services.
“For meaningful intra-Africa trade to be sustained and beneficial, Africans must interact and visit one another’s countries. In so doing, we shall embrace one another and build confidence among ourselves,” Mrs Ashipala-Musavyi said.
“We shall be exposed to and take pride in our rich and diverse African culture. Most importantly, we shall and begin to consume what we produce, and create jobs for our young people. This should be the content of intra African tourism.”
The two week fair is on the theme: “Leveraging on Agri-Technology and Agri -business Growth and Development,” and has more than 200 exhibitors, including SMEs and startups, participating.
Mrs Ashipala-Musavyi said the Ho Municipality had the “spirit and the soul” to nurture the Volta Region into the tourism hub of Ghana, and that its airport, “fabulous weather that many can only dream of,” and “captivating” topography should encourage stakeholders to advance its development.
“Above all, you have the friendly and industrious people of Ho. So I encourage the youth of Ho, to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities in intra African-tourism.”
“This is critical because, as much as the AfCFTA is about movement of goods and services, in essence it is equally about movement of the African people”.
Mr Divine Bosson, the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, said the Assembly was building partnerships for the transformation of the area into a business hub and would commit to the development of strategic sectors of its economy.
He said the Expo was to promote entrepreneurship and help build sustainable industries to grow the local economy and enhance livelihoods.
“We as a municipality, we are ready to lead potential investors to establish in our municipality and to make it big. Ho is projected to be the best destination for capital deployment,” he said.
Mr DelaGadzanku, Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in the Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions, which led the private sector in the initiative, said challenges with finance affected the growth prospects of prime sectors of the region’s economy, including agribusiness, ICT and tourism.
There existed a “steady improvement” in the economic indicators in the region, inspiring optimism for the future, he said. GNA