African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson, Moussa Mahamat, has said that the Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) is a clear demonstration of what could be achieved if government creates an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Mahamat, who spoke at the official launch of the new Ecobank head office building, the Ecobank Pan-African Centre (EPAC), in Lagos, noted that the centre will not only serve as the headquarters of Ecobank Nigeria, but also stand as a beacon of faith, success by the founders of the bank. He said: “Active collaboration between the public and private sectors across Africa is critical to shared prosperity.
The Ecobank vision was borne out of the idea among West African business people who are determined to provide the African continent with a homegrown financial institution.
“And it has shown exactly what can be achieved by the African private sector when they come together in genuine collaborative and joint efforts.
The Ecobank Pan African Centre (EPAC) again has also shown that it is possible when the government creates an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.” Mahamar, who was represented by the Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Industry and Mining, African Union Commission, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, said Africa has embarked on a path of strategic market opening and enlargement through the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a market of 1.3 billion people.
He said the process of countries’ wide economic integration involves the removal of tariffs and trade barriers as well as policy and regulation harmonisation in the areas of investment, competition policy, digital trade, quality of infrastructure, among others.
According to Mahamar, “in this market, which has a huge potential for growth and also a platform for deeper government integration, the financial sector across Africa will play a key role in all aspects of banking including trade finance.