Togbe Afede XIV, Agbogbomefia of Asogli State has called on African countries to encourage trading among themselves to enhance living standards across the continent.
He said Africans must redirect spending to the continent to help foster stronger continental integration, the prime objective of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) (AfCFTA).
Togbe Afede made the call when he hosted Mr. Lain Walker British High Commissioner to Ghana, for a dinner at his residence in Ho.
“It is unfortunate that trade among African countries accounts for only about 16% of total African trade, whereas the situation in Asia is significantly different.”
“We believe that if Africans can trade among themselves, our spending that generates income abroad will tend to generate income here. We would therefore be able to grow our industries, provide jobs for the youth and of course provide enhanced living standards for our people,” he said.
The Agbogbomefia noted that the African Union established the AfCFTA to help internal trade and that it would require broad support; thus, traditional leaders on the continent must band together to help political leaders achieve the desired integration, growth, and development.
To that end, Togbe Afede stated that he was promoting the idea of a continental union of traditional leaders.
“As a result, I will be advocating for the formation of an African Traditional Leaders Union. Yes, the AU is doing everything it can, and there is a lot of hope that AfCFTA will boost African trade as well. I believe traditional leaders can also make a contribution.”
“I believe that traditional leaders working together can have a greater impact on Africa’s unity, promote better understanding among Africans, and foster more empathy and love among Africans than our politicians can because we are in touch with the grass roots. “An African Traditional Leadership Union can go a long way toward supplementing what our politicians are doing so that we can have a stronger Africa—a more united Africa,” he said.