The most profound agent for Africa’s transformation is the AfCFTA – Mahama

John Mahama at the Korea-Africa Business Summit 2023

Former President John Dramani Mahama has said that Africa’s comparatively cheaper labour cost and the growing market make a compelling case for business partnerships with Ghanaian and African businesses.

Speaking at the Korea-Africa Business Summit 2023, he said that perhaps the most profound agent for Africa’s transformation is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The AfCFTA creates a potential market of 1.3 billion people. This will make it possible to produce in one African country and export products to other countries,” he said.

To optimize opportunities under the AfCTFA, however, he added, it will be necessary for Africa to improve its cross-border infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, railways, aviation, and ports.

“These can be done on a Built- Operate- Transfer (BOT) basis and would greatly catapult the growth of the African economy.

“As a national leader, I recognize that Africa’s public sector needs more job creation
opportunities. We must therefore create opportunities for the private sector to thrive and
employ more. Can we create these conditions for a renewed partnership between Korea and Africa? Yes, we can! And we must,” he said.

Mr Mahama also stated that “Our young people must see a much brighter future ahead, and they are willing to put in the shift to make it a reality. Korea can help us nudge our young innovators and entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and extricate themselves from the unemployment trap.

“Latent talent and skills are abundant in our young people. There are many who, despite the lamentable situation, come through with impressive feats and achievements. These point to untapped potential, which it must be our duty as leaders to unlock and unleash.

“We in Africa must engage Korea from all angles so that we can offer hope to our young people by having them learn from the shining examples that the Korean turn-around story provides. Korea can also leverage its unique advancements to partner with Ghana and Africa to build smart cities, develop social housing, and provide opportunities for collaborative payment platforms, Artificial Intelligence, and robotic platforms.”


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