President Nana Akufo-Addo has officially opened the 22nd Academy of African Business and Development (AABD) international conference.

He called on academia and participants to articulate cogent policies and come out with actionable proposals for consideration by African governments.

He said deliberations at the conference should lead to policies that will help strengthen African financial institutions to take greater responsibility for financing Africa’s development.

The President also charged participants to advocate for debt cancellation for African countries to provide a sound foundation for progress while proposing measures to help boost the capacity of African countries for domestic revenue mobilisation.

Akufo-Addo opens 22nd AABD Conference at UPSA

The 22nd AABD Conference, being hosted by the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), is under the theme: “Sustainable Development beyond Aid: The focus for Africa?”.

It runs till May 21, 2022.

President Akufo-Addo, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony, said the theme for this year’s conference is an important subject for deliberation by all, especially around this time when most countries are recuperating from the ravaging effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Akufo-Addo opens 22nd AABD Conference at UPSA

He said the consequences of these major setbacks on fuel, food, logistics, and the global supply chain are being felt by almost every country worldwide.

He added that Africa must accelerate efforts to foster internal collaboration and cooperation in trade, markets, resources, and population through the Africa Union.

Akufo-Addo opens 22nd AABD Conference at UPSA

President Akufo-Addo observed that the over-reliance on foreign aid by African countries is inimical to the growth and development of the continent, pointing out that it is time for Africa to enhance her efforts at self-sustenance, and move to a situation beyond aid by looking inward and promoting intra-continental trade and export.

He said, “I am by no means saying there is no longer a place for aid in Africa or that we should disregard what aid has done for us in the past.

“Neither am I saying that the more advanced countries should cease honouring their aid commitments to African countries; or that we should turn our back on investments from outside.”

“Together, African countries need to build our continent by building upon our strengths and holding each other up. Then, and only then, can we grow organically by wielding greater negotiating power to develop the continent of Africa.”

The President urged African countries to take advantage of the historic and unmined opportunities that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents to attain the desired prosperity and self-respect for countries on the continent.