Accra (Ghana), June 24: Ghanaian Vice President MahamuduBawumia on Thursday called on African countries to intensify regional economic cooperation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis.
"In Africa, given the relatively small sizes of our economies, there is a strong case for adopting common regional and continent-wide approaches to navigating present challenges," he said here in a keynote address at the opening of the 22nd annual general meeting of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).
Noting that the cumulative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis threatened to roll back the continent's economic gains, he urged Africa to create and sustain conditions conducive to increasing trade and investments, and to remove structural impediments facing private enterprises.
"If Africa works together in this direction, we will gain more time and mileage in reducing reliance upon external markets for our socio-economic development and enhance value addition of our resources," he added.
Regional cooperation would also help African countries to exploit their synergy to speed up the continent's integration into the global economy, said Bawumia.
"Regional economic integration will help our countries access the expanded regional market within and facilitate our global competitiveness. It can't be overemphasized that the continent needs to play an increasing role in the global economy to maximize the opportunities available from the interconnected world economy," he said.
The annual meeting brought together stakeholders in international trade and insurance to assess the work of the agency in past year and strategize for the future.