WEF Africa 2020 heads to free-trade champion Ethiopia
A framework for cooperation will be central to the 2020 World Economic Forum on Africa, which will be hosted by Ethiopia.
One of the key themes of the 2019 World Economic Forum hosted in Cape Town was growth in Africa, especially in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).
“Leaders have demonstrated the political will to get it to ratification,” said Victor Williams, head of corporate and investment banking Africa regions at Standard Bank. “Policymakers and governments have to be congratulated.”
The challenge now, said Williams, was to get the public and private sectors - and civil society - to agree on how they’ll work together to implement ACFTA.
Williams expected the creation of a “framework for cooperation” to be central to the 2020 World Economic Forum Africa, which Ethiopia will host.
The country – a leader in the establishment of ACFTA - is pushing hard to industrialise by liberalising aspects of its economy, among the fastest-growing in the world over the past decade.
Ethiopia is embodying a lot of what we are looking to see on the continent.Victor Williams, head of corporate and investment banking Africa regions at Standard Bank.
There is a lot of hope and anticipation related to the free trade agreement, but also many challenges.
“We will highlight to policymakers [at forums such as WEF Africa] the challenges our clients are seeing.”
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Listen to the full conversation between EWN's WEF correspondent Arabile Gumede and Standard Bank's Victor Williams.