17th CVL Annual Lecture focuses on Intra-Africa Trade


The Secretariat of CVL (Centre for Values in Leadership) has commenced preparation for the 17th edition of CVL Annual Lecture and International Leadership Symposium scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 6, 2020. The annual event is taking place at the Shell Hall, MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

The Keynote Speaker at CVL 17th annual lecture is Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah, President, African Export-Import Bank who is to address the theme- : Intra African Trade: Growth and Economic Development.  The Special Guest of Honour is His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya.

Eminent speakers and discussants representing continental, regional and national organizations responsible for trade promotion in Africa are also expected at the one-day lecture.

As in the past lectures, the event will be moderated by Prof. Pat Utomi, Founder of CVL.

Objectives of CVL 17th Annual Lecture:

  1. To promote and strengthen Intra-African Trade for growth and development
  2. To highlight intra-African trade and investment opportunities in Africa
  3. To discuss issues affecting intra-African trade and proffer practical solutions
  4. To bring together continental and global players to showcase and exhibit their goods and services, and to explore business and investment opportunities in Africa
  5. To share trade, investment and market information with participants
  6. To provide a platform for Afreximbank and other financial institutions, to share information about their trade finance and trade facilitation interventions that promote intra-African trade

The theme of the 17th edition of CVL Annual Lecture is coming at the backdrop of excitement and trending discussion in Africa about the implementation of the treaty on Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) endorsed by 44 out of the 55 countries in Africa at the Africa Union Summit in Kigali in March 2018. Nigeria and South Africa (the two largest economies in Africa) withheld signature to the treaty at the Kigali meeting but South Africa thereafter ratified the treaty.

Nigeria signed the treaty at the recent Summit of AU held in Niamy, Niger Republic this month. In preparation for Nigeria’s new position on the treaty, the Presidential Committee to Assess Impact and Readiness for the AfCFTA submitted its report to President Buhari in Abuja on June 27, 2019.

President Buhari commended the Committee for a thorough job. He explained that Nigeria delayed signature to the treaty because, ‘as Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, Nigeria cannot afford to rush into such agreements without full and proper consultation with all stakeholders’.

He alluded to the content of the report which stated that intra-African trade is only 14% of Africa’s total trade. The implication is that Africa’s consumption is mostly of goods imported from outside the continent.

President Buhari therefore reiterated that for AfCFTA to succeed, the continent must develop policies that promote African production, among other benefits.

Over the years, CVL has successfully hosted 16 thought-provoking editions of its annual lecture, featuring brilliant minds from around the world as speakers with discussion on various issues ranging from Education, Leadership, Cities Development, Employment, Democracy, Youth, Economy, Values, Agriculture and Entrepreneurship, to mention a few. Previous Keynote speakers include President Paul Kagame, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Liberia’s President George Opong Weah, General Yakubu Gowon and experts such as Prof. Paul Collier, Current African Development Bank President, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and former UNIDO Director General, Dr. Kandeh Yumkella.