ICC mobilises Sub-Saharan Africa regional network to fight impact of COVID-19
The International Chamber of Commerce ICC convened a landmark Sub-Saharan Africa regional meeting last week bringing together participants from close to 20 African countries.
The virtual meeting, which took place on 14 May, aimed to augment the voice of African business into global discussions, identify ways to build private sector resilience, and pave the way for a sustained economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chaired by ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, the meeting featured speakers Hubert Danso, CEO and Chair of Africa Investors, Kiprono Kittony, Vice-Chair for Africa of the ICC World Chambers Federation, and Babatunde Savage, ICC Regional Coordinator for Africa. The meeting also saw participation from new ICC Executive Board member Valentina Mintah, CEO of West Blue Consulting and Vice-Chair of ICC Ghana.
Discussions during the call were centered around the following themes: Regional and international instruments to support the private sector in Africa, Specific mechanisms to build the resilience of micro and small enterprises and Operationalising the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The outcomes of this meeting and future meetings of the group will be shared with relevant regional institutions, including the African Union and the African Development Bank.
ICC’s unprecedented mobilisation of its network in Sub-Saharan Africa has resulted in engagement by more than 180 chambers in 47 African countries to tackle COVID-19 . Outreach has also been facilitated through ICC representative bodies – known as national committees – in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as well as through members in Angola, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. ICC’s network also includes three transnational chambers. They are the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and the Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Indian Ocean (UCCIOI).
The Sub-Saharan Africa regional meeting was the latest in a series of ICC outreach initiatives aimed at addressing the impact of the COVID crisis on the private sector in Africa.
On 30 April, Mr. Denton took part in a historic summit to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which highlighted the urgent need for harmonised regulation to help the African private sector– in particular SMEs – to digitise their businesses to be able to trade and compete in the COVID-19 era.
Mr. Denton also participated in an Africa Investor Sovereign Wealth Funds Webinar and the African e-Trade and Reg-Tech Innovation Leaders Dialogue. As part of a series of regional outreach engagements with the United Nations to support ICC’s global SaveOurSMEs campaign, Mr. Denton has also met virtually with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.