Africa projected to be 8th largest global economy with an estimated $16.3 trillion by the year 2050 – AfCFTA Boss

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The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, has said that Africa is projected to be the 8th largest global economy with an estimated $16.3 trillion by the year 2050.

This makes a case for the continent to leverage the power of digital technology for growth.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 3i Africa Summit in Accra on Monday, May 13,   he said “The existential economic sovereignty of our continent is precisely why the African Continental Free Trade Area was established so that we can leverage on this market of 1.4 billion people, which by 2050 is projected to be the 8th largest economy in the world with $16.3 trillion 27 years from now but if we don’t deploy these digital technologies, all of us are going to be discussing where we got it wrong.”

Wamkele Mene further stated that it has become necessary for Africans to collaborate on how to tackle their challenges.

He says that the emerging global geo-political context should compel us Africans to collaborate to find ways of coming out of the challenges the continent is facing

“The emerging global geo-political context should compel us Africans to collaborate to find ways of coming out of the challenges we are facing,” he said.

Also speaking at the same event, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said that there was a need to leverage the power of digital identity programmes such as the Ghana Card to improve access to financial services and reduce fraud.

He said this while touting the successes chalked through the digital transformative initiatives introduced by his government.

For instance, he said, the Ghana Card and the Ghana.Gov portal are reshaping the delivery of public service.

The president noted that digital technology is playing a vital role in the transformation of Ghana’s economy.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the 3i Summit in  Accra on Monday, May 13, he said “We must promote interoperability, and reduce the transaction cost of delays, tearing down the [cycle] that has hindered our progress for too long. We must leverage the power of digital identity programmes such as the Ghana Card to improve access to financial services, reduce fraud and create a more inclusive and equitable economic system.

“Ghana has emerged as a good example of what is possible in embracing digital transformation. Our initiatives such as the Ghana Card, the Ghana.gov portal and mobile money interoperability have reshaped the landscape of public service delivery and expanded financial inclusion. Today some 17 million of our folks now possess a digital ID.”

For his part, Finance Minister Dr Mohammed Amin Adam said that the success of financial innovations rests on a strong financial services sector that operates in a stable macroeconomic environment.

To this end, he said, the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is unrelenting in creating an enabling macroeconomic environment to support economic growth.

“For this reason, Ghana’s economic rebound has been quite swift with economic growth ending the year 2023 at 2.9% against a target of 1.5%, inflation heading towards the year-end target of 15%, and interest rates declining. Despite recent pressures on our currency, the cedi’s depreciation year-to-date of 12% is far lower than its depreciation of 27% in the same period last year,” he said at the same event.

He further stated that the Government is implementing measures on the fiscal side including acceleration of disbursements of almost $1 billion by the development partners between now and December this year to support the economy.

“As we convene at the 3i Africa Summit in Ghana, it is incumbent on us to acknowledge the remarkable strides that Ghana has made in nurturing a vibrant fintech ecosystem. Ghana’s fintech sector boasts of a diverse array of startups, accelerators and regulatory initiatives, solidifying our position as a frontrunner in fintech innovation across the continent.

“I commend the Bank of Ghana for being proactive in establishing a regulatory framework conducive to fintech innovation, exemplified by initiatives such as the Payment Systems and Services Act, Act 987 and establishing a Fintech and Innovation Office. These efforts affirm our commitment to fostering innovation while safeguarding consumer interests and preserving financial stability.

“I want to take this opportunity also to acknowledge the many incubators across Ghana, including the Ghana Tech Lab and MEST Africa, that provide invaluable support to fintech entrepreneurs through mentorship, financial backing, and networking opportunities.”

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