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).
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’s sad that trade among African countries accounts for only about 16 percent of all of Africa’s trade, whereas the situation in Asia is significantly different.”
“We believe that if Africans can trade among ourselves, it means that our spending that creates income abroad would tend to create 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 created the AfCFTA to rescue internal trade and would require wholesome support, therefore, traditional leaders on the continent must come together to aid political leadership realise the aspired integration, growth, and development.
Togbe Afede said he was, towards that end, promoting the idea of a continental union of traditional leaders.
“So that is why I will be championing the idea of an African Traditional leaders union. Yes, AU is doing as much as it can, and of course there is a lot of hope that AfCFTA would also enhance African Trade. I believe we traditional leaders can also contribute.”
“I believe traditional leaders coming together can impact Africa’s togetherness more, can promote better understanding among Africans, can promote more empathy and love among Africans than our politicians can do because we are in touch with the grass roots. An African Traditional Leadership union can go a long way to augment what our politicians are doing so we can have a stronger Africa- an Africa that is more together,” he said.