Lobby group wants 40pc of state business to go to private sector

Monday May 29 2023
Panafrican parliament

African delegates attending a session at the Pan African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. PHOTO | PCS


Speaking in Midrand, South Africa, at a two-day workshop on Accelerating the African Continental Free Trade Area and the significance of the Pan-African Parliament, African Business Council (ABC) President Dr Amany Asfour said the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is dependent on the private sector.

Dr Asfour underscored the need to have incentives for African investors rather than for multinationals and urged the Pan-African Parliament to push for legislation in domestic parliaments that will make it mandatory to have 40 percent of all government procurement given to the local private sector.

Read: Powering trade through AfCFTA: A People-driven wholesome development agenda

Raw materials cache

She added that even as Africa maps its resources, mechanisms and strategies must be quickly put in place to address the issue of value addition. She gave the example of DR Congo and Zambia, which host the minerals that constitute raw materials for batteries for electric vehicles whose demand by 2030 will have hit 200 million units.

Dr Asfour emphasised the need for a competitive, borderless, innovative Africa for trade and industrialisation to be realised “because AfCFTA without industrialisation and investment will remain a pipedream”.


“According to the World Health Organisation, 80 percent of African patients die from cancer-related complications, compared with 24 percent from the West because countries here don’t invest in the health sector, forcing many to flock to countries like India for treatment yet they continent is quite capable of investing in healthcare,” she said.

Read: Africa’s pledge to accelerate industrialisation

The continental lobby group has crafted a business strategy based on the three pillars of private sector strengthening that includes SMEs, women and youth, policy advocacy that will serve as incentives to private sector and finally product development which aims at having a strong product that can trade amongst Africans and how to ensure free movement of goods and services.