April 12, 2016 – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Executive Council of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) held its 9th Executive Council Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 10-11 April 2016.
PACCI represents business communities, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and other business support organizations in Africa. Membres of the Executive Council include: Chambre Algérienne de Commerce et d'Industrie, Fédération des Chambres de Commerce et d'Industrie et de Services du Maroc– Khémisset, Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Inde-Congo (C.C.I/I.C), Chambre de Commerce, d'Industrie, d'Agriculture et des Metiers de Brazzaville, Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), Chambre Fédérale de Commerce et d'Industrie de Burundi (CFCIB), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce. The Council is currently chaired by Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for the term 2014-2016.
The 2016 executive council discussed PACCI’s activities and finances for the year 2015 and reviewed progress and priorities for the next five years (2016-2020). Council members stressed the need to promote aggressive information campaign in support of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) in Africa. It directed the Executive Director of PACCI to foster closer cooperation between the African Union Commission and PACCI in order to coordinate private sector’s perspective on the role of the CFTA integration process and in overcoming obstacles to intra-regional trade. The Council also recommended the PACCI Secretariat to develop closer coordination with regional economic communities and the private sector representatives in the sub regions. The First Vice President of PACCI and the President of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), Mr. Solomon Afework noted during the meeting that the private sector is a key partner in making the Free Trade Area a success and that its involvement in the entire process is critical and essential.
The Council further made a number of recommendations, such as:
- Improving coordination and the sharing of information between African Chambers of commerce to help drive long-term growth and development;
- Building partnerships between African national chambers of commerce and regional development organizations in order to promote trade and investment to realize the continent’s maximum long-term economic potential;
- Building fruitful relationships with regional economic communities such as ECA, ECOWAS, SADC to promote economic growth, and job creation;
- Developing and strengthening PACCI to become an effective voice of business for enhanced continental cooperation and integration
Assessing the latest economic trends and challenges, PACCI Executive Director, Mr. Kebour Ghenna, said that growth according to the World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa declined to 3% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, due to low commodity prices, weak global growth, rising borrowing costs, and adverse domestic developments in many countries. The slowdown, according to the World Bank, was especially sharp in the region’s largest commodity exporters But there were some bright spots, such as Côte d’Ivoire, which continued to experience robust, broad-based growth, supported by rising investment, and Kenya and Rwanda, where growth remained strong, helped by infrastructure spending, strong consumer demand, and a growing service sector. He said that African businesses need a confidence boost and that government should act to minimize uncertainty and boost opportunity.
Finally the Meeting thanked the Trade and Industry Division and the Economic Affairs Division of the African Union for their precious support to strengthen the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI).