The African Union Commission’s Department of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry, and Minerals and the Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Pan-African Private Sector, Civil Society, Academia, Research Institutions, Women and Youths celebrated the 3rd edition of the Africa Integration Day under the theme “Deepening African Economic Integration in the Era of De-Globalization” on July 7, 2022, Lusaka, Zambia.
The overall objective of the commemoration of the 2022 African Integration Day and Forum was for African governments, private sector, civil society, RECs and AU partners to deliberate on how to utilize regional and continental integration processes and initiatives to foster accelerated Africa’s economic integration in its recovery in
the post-COVID era.
Speaking on behalf of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission emphasized that Integration is the very essence of the existence of the African Union and it is the founding component of the Organization of Africa in the early 1960s.
She highlighted some of the progress that had been achieved by the AU member states in accelerating the integration despite the global uncertainties and insecurities caused by the ravages of the COVID-19, and the Russia-Ukrainian conflict respectively.
Dr. Nsanzabaganwa called upon all African Governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to redouble their efforts to give concrete meaning to trade and economic integration in Africa, so that ordinary Africans, across the continent, including in the most remote regions, could derive significant benefits.
Amb. Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals welcoming participants to the celebration of the third edition of the Africa Integration day, mentioned few of several factors that confront the continent. “The future of Africa in this new global environment lies in deeper economic integration, continent-wide. We are stronger working together; and, more resilient. We are weaker; and more vulnerable working as individual countries,” he said.
“The private sector is advocating for the enabling environment for realizing our African Integration and increasing our Intra Africa Trade. We need to have policies for a special percentage of at least 40 percent of the Government Procurement to be allocated for our African businesses, including SMEs, Women and Youth Owned Businesses,”
said Dr. Amany Asfour, President of the Africa Business Council. She added that, “In order to increase our Intra Africa Trade, we have to invest in our own resources for industrialization and Value addition, and invest in building Capacity of our human resources, including Women and Youth.”
(Report by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa, Edited by Samuel Odebowale)