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Ecobank CEO Ekpe calls for Africa-Africa Summit

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Mr. Arnold Ekpe

The Group CEO of Ecobank Transnational Inc., has called for an Africa-Africa summit to look within the continent for economic growth and development.

Mr. Arnold Ekpe said these when he participated in the 5th Joint Annual Meetings of the AU Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

During the high level meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 26 – 27, 2012, African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Development pledged their countries’ support to turn the continent into a pole for global growth using the opportunity provided by developments in the global economy.

The Ministers believe finding home-grown solutions will spur the transition.

During the dialogue, Mr. Ekpe commended the participation of the private sector and, in particular, Ecobank in the meeting.

He emphasized the importance of regional trade and financial integration to Africa’s development and encouraged policymakers to help accelerate free movement of people and capital across Africa’s borders.

He observed that while attention has been paid to foreign capital to Africa, there is a pool of untapped capital within the continent itself, especially among large African economies that can be invested in other African countries. Mr. Ekpe noted the need to move from talk to action and called for an Africa to Africa Summit, just as the continent has China-Africa and India-Africa Summits.

Giving the keynote address, Meles Zenawi, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia called upon African countries to build effective and pro-development states if the continent must become a new global pole of growth.

The theme for the dialogue which was held at the AU Conference Centre was “Unleashing Africa’s potential as a pole of global growth,” and was chaired by Dr. Ngozi-Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Africa’s candidate for the World Bank Presidency.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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