President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed concerns about how developed economies treat Africa during trade and investment agreements.
He noted that the rules of engagement in trade and investment that exist among the developed economies change whenever Africa becomes the focus of the trade agreements.
President Akufo-Addo said these when he was speaking at the EBII Africa Investments Risk and Compliance (IRC) Summit in London on Saturday July 31.
He told the gathering that “We have all agreed that for Africa to be able to transform ourselves and become the epitome of the economic empowerment and self-reliance, she needs to have the wherewithal to be able to protect and promote the resources at a her disposal hence the need to build a robust financial compliance systems and ensure strict enforcement of the systems.”
The reason for this is that, he said “financial crimes have over the past 30 years become a major concern for governments around the globe as it represents a significant threats to development and stability of the economies of countries around the world.
“I’m happy that the theme of this nature which is a regular feature of deliberations for investors in Europe, America and Asia should have Africa as a its focus.
“ I am saying so because Africa, which since ancient time, has been defined by outsiders as the continent that always provides something new, something strange to surprise or excite the rest of the world , or the place for venture or the place to be exploited.
“It is the place where the normal rules and guide behavior elsewhere can be and are suspended. Once it is the continent of Africa, things must necessarily be somewhat different. From as far back as we can think, we will see that the world has always dealt with Africa in a manner that is different from how other parts of the world are regarded and threated .
“The rules that have been drawn up to guide the rest of the world in trade , investment , ethics, environment, governance which are accepted as part of normal conventions have thrown out or changed when the area of operation moves from Oxford to Cape Coast.
“If the African continent were not seen as a place where regular rules can be and are regularly flouted, I dare say we will not be gathered here today to grapple with the subject of this conference.
“Top of the problems, of course, is that there is so little trade between African countries and so little intra-investment among African nations . Thus when we talk about investment in Africa reference is instinctively to non-Africans and a decade ago when China made a significant entry to Africa investment on our continent was limited to western companies in the countries . It is not surprising therefore that the western counties carried into the investment arena the same attitude they had towards African counties as their former colonies.”
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