Sahara Group Lauds UNDP

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Africa’s huge economic growth potential can be harnessed through robust intra-African trade, collaboration and a firm resolve to pursue shared goals, the Executive Director, Sahara Group, Temitope Shonubi, has said.

A statement quoted him to have said this while speaking at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “High Level Dialogue” in Accra, with the theme: “Africa’s Money for African Development, a Future Beyond Aid,” at the weekend.

Shonubi said Africa needs to look beyond dependence on foreign aid and embrace the pursuit of economic growth and development as a “single entity with common interests, goals and aspirations”.

According to Shonubi: “It is Sahara Group’s firm belief that African businesses can be the greatest contributors to Africa’s success. But tackling some of the toughest global challenges cannot be achieved by any one company or sector alone. We therefore need to partner, not merely in business, but in building the better, stronger and more economically vibrant Africa that we all desire.”

He noted that Sahara Group’s experience across the continent had shown that intra-African trade can be enhanced through uniform trade policies, shared infrastructure and technology, ease of movement of persons and goods and transparent regulatory framework for different sectors.

He said: “As a leading energy conglomerate on the continent, Sahara Group has continued to champion calls for increased trading activities on the continent, especially in the energy sector. Sahara Group has at different fora canvassed more collaboration and business activities involving African entrepreneurs, Oil and gas businesses, traders and financial institutions, among others.”

The event was chaired by Ghana’s President, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo, who reiterated that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) would facilitate a new wave of economic prosperity if implemented successfully. President Akufo-Addo also noted the need for African economies to become independent of aid, adding that upholding human rights, the rule of law and democratic accountability are key ingredients for sustainable development.