By Richard Annerquaye ABBEY

African leaders need to invest in quality education in order to prevent the transferance of poverty from generation to generation, Emmanuel Doni-Kwame, Managing Director of World Trade Centre Accra has said.

The continent, he said, has weathered economic crises and achieved considerable advances in the area of poverty and human development. ?Most African countries have a long way to go to translate that growth into higher development,? he added.

Mr. Doni-Kwame, who is also an Executive Member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), was speaking at the launch of the Vodafone Africa Business Leaders Forum (ABLF) last week. ICC is partnering the Vodafone ABLF for the first time.

This year?s ABLF, under the theme ?Setting the Next Agenda for Africa?, is slated for July 29 at the La Palm Royal Beach, Accra and is expected to bring together business leaders from across Africa to discuss and debate key issues affecting the development of business on the continent.

According to Mr. Doni-Kwame, deliberate policy measures and targetted investments are needed to make growth not only fast, but inclusive and sustainable.

?We need a continent where things work, businesses thrive and living standards keep improving. One precondition for development is good governance and an enabling environment at all levels be it domestic market, foreign investment or international trade,? he said.

?Creating the right conditions for development requires strategic reforms to longstanding regulatory practices which may challenge the economic, political and social status quo of an economy, but doing so is absolutely essential to unlocking Africa?s full potential,? he added.

He underscored the need to use open cross-border trade and economic integration as a force for sustainable growth, job-creation and prosperity.

?National economies are now closely interwoven and Government decisions have much stronger international repercussions than in the past,? he said.

The ICC has consistently emphasised the importance of mobilising domestic resources and encouraging local entrepreneurship, foreign direct investment and other private capital inflows, overseas development assistance and integrating the informal economy.

Executive Director of the event organiser Business and Financial Times (B&FT), Mrs. Edith Dankwa, speaking the launch said this year?s edition will ?highlight the new Africa, where people are making efforts to show its bright side.?

She added that the event will be used to show a continent ?where the abundant opportunities are being used as a catalyst for growth and development; an Africa where world-class businesses are being nurtured?.
According to Mrs. Dankwa, the sprouting of economies within the sub-Saharan region makes it the appropriate time for the region to focus on developing good leadership, which she said ?holds the key to taking the continent to the next level?.


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