Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
Dr Piriye Kiyaramo, a renowned tourism practitioner on Friday urged business leaders and policymakers to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to elevate the cultural economy in Africa.
Kiyaramo stated this when he received the Civic Society Coordinator on AfCFTA Awareness Campaign, Mr Udokop Nsima in his office in Yenagoa.
Kiyaramo noted that the AfCFTA agreement, ratified in 2021, promises a broader economic integration to attract investments to Africa, as well as boost trade, provide better jobs, reduce poverty, and increase shared prosperity in the continent.
He said the pillar of Africa’s economy and its identity, and livelihood, lies in the unique and varied cultural sectors, such as entertainment, fashion, arts and crafts, cinema, visual, and performing arts, culinary arts, sports, tourism, music and textiles among other service sectors.
According to Kiyaramo, Africa’s cultural economy needed serious attention, given its potential to provide additional value to the economic growth and development of African countries, describing the African Continental Free Trade Area initiative as a landmark milestone for the continent.
Kiyaramo, who is also an Aide to Bayelsa Governor on Tourism explained the need for cohesiveness, interconnectivity and unity among African countries, saying that the pitfalls of the looming climate catastrophe and the general economic strife across the globe have made collaborations more important than ever.
He noted that by enforcing the rules of origin, the AfCFTA seeks to spur more locally manufactured products, including textiles, reiterating that a successfully implemented trade agreement, complemented with investments in the cultural sector would generate billions of dollars for the continent.
Kiyaramo pointed out that in tandem with the overall push for AfCFTA, efforts in the tourism sector have focused on African countries liberalizing their visa requirements, resulting in more countries permitting visa-free access to African travellers.
He called for collaborations between the private sector and governments across the continent to champion and provide financial support for Africa-wide cultural programming, inspired by AfCFTA’s goal of greater regional integration.
“These activities would serve to engage the public, and further build on the concept of pan-African identity,” Kiyaramo said.
Earlier, the Civic Society Coordinator on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Awareness Campaign, Nsima briefed the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Tourism on his organisation’s proposal to Bayelsa State government to host AfCFTA Awareness Football Tournament.
Nsima said the Kickoff Ceremony is proposed to take place from June 22-23, 2023.
According to him, hosting the awareness football tournament will grant the state ample opportunity to showcase its investment potential to Africa, considering its strategic position in the Gulf of Guinea, which makes Bayelsa one of the fulcrums of AfCFTA, because its marine resources.
He said: “This is an opportunity to
bring the AfCFTA awareness closer to Bayelsa people to ensure businessmen in the state are better integrated into the value chains, jobs and opportunities stemming from the AfCFTA”.
CAPTION FOR ATTACHED PHOTO
Dr Piriye Kiyaramo (left) having a handshake with the Civic Society Coordinator on AfCFTA Awareness Campaign, Mr Udokop Nsima.