The 2023 Annual New Year School and Conference (ANYSC) begins today at the University of Ghana, Legon.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, will perform the opening ceremony which is on the theme: “Positioning the African market for sustainable economic development through African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.
This year’s event, the 74th, is aimed at exploring how to strengthen trade, industry and commerce, leveraging the AfCFTA agreement.
The conference has since its inception in 1948, been the flagship programme of the university and attracts people from all walks of life who deliberate on topical issues of national and international interests.
The conference will also focus on promoting and facilitating the preparedness and consolidation of AfCFTA gains by key stakeholders such as industry, the private sector, academia and the government through the organisation of the first Africa Regional Annual New Year School and Youth Conference.
It will attract participation from some African universities, the private sector and industries from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Ethiopia, Egypt and ECOWAS member countries.
Aside from the Vice-President, other dignitaries expected to speak at the conference include the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, and the Chairman of the McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley.
The Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Keabetswe Mene, will deliver the keynote address at the conference which will be chaired by the Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Mary Chinery-Hesse, with the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, as the host.
The four-day conference is under the auspices of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education of the university, in collaboration with the National AfCFTA Coordination Office.
The others are the Ministries of Finance, Education, Communications and Digitisation, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
Other activities being organised at the conference is a youth school for students which is scheduled for Thursday, January 19, 2023, at the ISSER conference centre at the university.
It is expected to attract keen participation of youth delegations from various African countries.
The Director of the 74th conference, Dr Simon-Peter Kafui Aheto, expressed the hope that it would help contribute to the continent’s quest of advancing trade and industry to build a robust African economy that would contribute to the sustainable growth of member countries.
He said the conference also had plans to establish a Digital Village complex on the Legon campus that would serve as a hub of youth training and development in the country and the continent at large.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), headquartered in Accra, Ghana, is a flagship programme of the African Union under its Agenda 2063.
It aims at accelerating intra-African trade and also boosting Africa’s trading position on the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.
One of the special highlights of the conference will include an African continental hybrid trade show and exhibition, with special focus on a youth technology platform.
Each year, the conference releases a communique at the end of the event which helps to shape policies and also provoke further discussions of the themes.