*Welcome Address at the 2nd Executive Committee Meeting and Relaunch on the Sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair in Egypt, November 14, 2023*
Eng. Mansur Ahmed, OFR, the Interim President of the Pan African Manufacturers Association (PAMA), delivered a compelling welcome address at the 2nd Executive Committee Meeting and the notable relaunch of PAMA during the Intra-African Trade Fair in Egypt on November 14, 2023.
In his address, Eng. Mansur Ahmed emphasized the imperativeness of PAMA in the context of Agenda 2063, which outlines the African Union’s economic development objectives from 2013 to 2063. The flagship initiative, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), is pivotal for achieving continental integration and building the world’s largest Free Trade Area.
Acknowledging the significant strides made since the initiation of AFCFTA in January 2021, Eng. Mansur Ahmed highlighted the challenges Africa still faces, including intra-African trade below 18% and a meager 4% global trade contribution. The manufacturing sector, vital for economic growth, stands out as crucial for transformation.
Eng. Mansur Ahmed unveiled the role PAMA must play in fostering the growth of the African manufacturing sector, offering ten key initiatives:
1. **Uniting Private Entrepreneurs:** PAMA aims to bring together private entrepreneurs, fostering interaction, and building mutual confidence to strengthen the African manufacturing sector.
2. **Research and Knowledge Sharing:** PAMA commits to conducting comprehensive studies on various manufacturing aspects across Africa, sharing results to facilitate sector-wide improvements.
3. **Advocacy for Policy Improvements:** Effective policy advocacy is vital for the growth of the manufacturing sector, and PAMA will lead efforts at both regional and continental levels.
4. **Staying Informed:** PAMA recognizes the importance of staying informed about global manufacturing trends and aims to share this knowledge to promote innovation.
5. **Promoting Investment:** PAMA aims to serve as a one-stop shop for investors interested in the African manufacturing sector, attracting capital for expansion and modernization.
6. **Engaging the Business Council:** PAMA emphasizes the importance of engaging with other private sector stakeholders and the African Business Council to align interests and drive mutually beneficial initiatives.
7. **Collaboration with Development Partners:** PAMA will actively seek collaboration with development partners to unlock resources, knowledge, and technical assistance for the manufacturing sector.
8. **Academic Collaboration:** PAMA recognizes the importance of collaborating with universities and research institutions to develop new knowledge, skills, and innovations.
9. **Promoting Sector Growth:** PAMA will organize regional seminars, conferences, and events to facilitate industry networking and knowledge exchange.
10. **Technology Transfer and Innovation Hubs:** PAMA envisions establishing technology transfer and innovation hubs across Africa to support research and development, encouraging the adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies.
Eng. Mansur Ahmed concluded by expressing gratitude for the attention of the attendees, welcoming them to the 2nd Executive Meeting and Relaunch of PAMA. His address set a visionary course for PAMA, underlining its pivotal role in realizing the objectives of Agenda 2063 and propelling Africa towards a vibrant and globally competitive manufacturing industry.