Akufo-Addo receives a Medal of Merit in Leadership from the African Bar Association.

Akufo-Addo - Rapid News GH

The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, received a Medal of Merit in Leadership Award from the Africa Bar Association at its 2023 Annual Conference in Pretoria, South Africa.

President Akufo-Addo received the award because he is “a pan-Africanist, an anti-Corruption Crusader, a rare democratic leader in the field of good governance, a true African Statesman whose legacies present African leaders must emulate, and we are minded to say will stand the test of time,” according to Hannibal Egbe Uwaifo, president of the association.

The President of the African Bar Association thanked them for the honor and noted that attorneys enjoy a unique status in African communities due to the profession’s rarified status.

“The fact that attorneys were at the vanguard of the struggle for emancipation from colonialism must be a source of pride for us in all of our nations. Indeed, since independence, lawyers have juggled their political and legal careers with ease,” he said.

The President informed the crowd that it is past due for Africa and Africans to determine their own story since they have been unable to use all of their numerous natural assets to create successful states.

“We need to identify ourselves by who we are, not by what other people think of us. However, if we don’t trade with one another, this cannot occur. Only three percent (3%) of world trade comes from Africa, and intra-African trade is among the lowest of any continent, according to him. Akufo-Addo

“This is largely due to the ‘colonial’ economic model,” the President continued, “which has been in place for the last century and is characterized by small individual economies, fragmented and disconnected regional markets, over-reliance on the production and export of primary commodities, and the presence of low productive capacities.” Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo noted that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), whose trading began on January 1, 2021, and whose Secretariat Ghana has the honor of hosting, represents a historic opportunity for Africa to significantly strengthen intra-African trade as a means of realizing the continent’s enormous economic and material potential

“As the saying goes, there is strength in unity, and for the African Union’s 54 member states, our power comes from our numbers. Our population as a whole totals 1.3 billion, the majority of whom are young, and our GDP as a whole is $3 trillion, ranking us as the eighth largest economy in the world, he emphasized. Akufo-Addo

This, he said, places Africa as a potentially alluring investment location, and he went on to say that “with the relevant investment, we will be able to sustain economic growth, and create the job opportunities that the youth of our continent so desperately need.”

The President said that the AfCFTA will be a “significant game changer,” adding that “once fully realized, we can increase intra-African trade by thirty-five billion United States dollars (US$ 35 billion) and reduce external imports by ten billion United States dollars (US$ 10 billion) annually.”

He went on to say that this would “mean more prospects for growth for our small enterprises, and the potential to raise about thirty million (30 million) people out of extreme poverty. Additionally, a successful AfCFTA will diversify Africa’s industrial exports, reducing the continent’s reliance on imports and extractive resources.

He added that a chaotic and unstable environment makes it impossible to reap the benefits of the AfCFTA.

“We, in West Africa, are currently preoccupied with the need to free the Region from the terrorist insurgency that has engulfed Mali, Burkina Faso, parts of Niger, and Nigeria, and is threatening the peace and stability of the coastal nations,” he continued.

“It is imperative that, in our generation, we all unite to defeat this threat and ensure the peace and stability, which are essential to the rapid economic development not only of West Africa but also of the entire continent, the surest way to eradicate poverty in our time,” President Akufo-Addo continued. In the same sense, we must reaffirm our dedication to democratic governance and reject any amendments to the Constitution.

The AfCFTA, he said, “has laid the foundation for Africa’s industrialization and development, fulfilling the vision of our forefathers who battled for the liberation of our continent from colonialism and imperialism. Now, bold leadership from our various governments and corporations is needed.

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