Africa’s 2024 elections: Opportunity to create thriving business environments – Moghalu

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Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Chairman, Board of Directors and Advisory Board, Africa Private Sector Summit (APSS) says Africa’s 2024 elections remain opportunity for the continent to produce leaders that will create enabling business environments.

Moghalu, a renowned economist in a statement in Lagos on Thursday, made the remarks in Accra, Ghana.

He said: “The year 2024 will be the Year of Elections around the world. No less than 50 countries will hold ballot contests.

“In Africa,  15 countries, from Senegal in February to South Africa in December, will hold elections that will determine the destinies of 300 million people.

“We in the APSS urge all African leaders and aspiring leaders to make democracy a true opportunity for prosperity for the continent’s 1.3 billion people.”

Speaking further on APSS and the Private Sector Bill of Rights, Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stressed the need to leverage the private sector’s ability to drive trade and investment in the continent.

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“This is why we are advocating the adoption of a Charter on Private Sector Bill of Rights (PSBoR) that facilitates the emergence of an enabling environment for trade and investment in Africa.

“This is an accompanying instrument to the existing Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocols, by Governments of all African countries and the African Union.

“This will contribute to actualising the vision of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 – The Africa We Want, thus create prosperity for Africans through intra-African trade,” he said.

According to him, considering the potentials of the AfCFTA (which has been ratified by 47 African countries as of December 2023) to lift 30 million people out of poverty and boost Africa’s income by 450 billion dollars by 2035, the APSS believes that businesses and the private sector as the primary drivers of wealth creation, need to be empowered.

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He said businesses must be enabled with a supportive environment, to get on with this natural task.

Moghalu said the primary purpose of every government in Africa’s developing countries should, therefore, be to achieve the above purpose of lifting the quality of life of Africa’s peoples.

He said that this could be achieved by enabling optimal conversion of natural resources, for a marked increase in their productive wealth.

The chairman said  the APSS Charter on Private Sector Bill of Rights (PSBoR) outlined 24 specific rights that all governments in Africa should adopt to support businesses.

According to him, these rights include peace, security and stability for a productive business environment and a functional legal system that guarantees the sanctity of contracts and and timely resolution of commercial and trade disputes

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“Efficient and fair tax rules that avoid multiple taxation as well as equal treatment and equal opportunity for market competition.

“Consultation with the private sector on policy, laws and regulation prior to enactment, timely and efficient processing of imports and cargoes as well as a functional educational system that meets the skills-set demands of the private sector.”

He said that the APSS was working, along with partners,  including the Pan-African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI) with strong support of the AfCFTA Secretariat and the Africa Business Council (AfBC).

He said that this was toward a target of the formal adoption of the Private Sector Bill of Rights by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 2025.

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