The Trade and Investment Forum Africa (TIFA), a non-profit networking platform, has been established to promote trade and investment opportunities amongst small, medium, and large-scale corporations in Africa.
The Executive Director, TIFA, Bola Akinsanya, said the forum, which was launched on February 24, 2022, in Ghana, was created out of the need to find a solution to issues of inter-border trading and reduce the information gap among business practitioners on the continent.
According to him, one of the reasons the forum was constituted is having a recognizable and unified body that can resolve the myriad of issues affecting trans-border trading and ensure access to facilities to ensure business success.
He said, “TIFA was created out of the belief that people should have information that they can work with. We felt like if you have a business family in the form of a network or a platform where people can come together to discuss important things, it will be easier to engage the government on how to mitigate the challenges and difficulties in trans-border or across the border trading.”
Akinsanya stated that TIFA would not go against any local policy in sovereign states, adding that there was a need for governments to be up in arms to reduce the bottlenecks affecting critical business areas and resolve the issues and crisis stifling the progress of business across the border.
He noted that marrying local policy and regional treaties would be an important way to help commerce and build capacity.
A Member of the Board of Trustees, Dr Azeez Adebayo, stated that one of the ways by which TIFA could be valuable and improve the business environment of member states was by extending its coverage outside Africa.
According to him, the world is looking at Africa as the fifth revolution, hence the need to capitalize on that impression.
“We are extending our coverage to other parts of the world including America. People are looking at Africa as a very important place. If you are talking about the fourth revolution, which is technology, then the fifth revolution which others are looking out for is Africa,” he said.
“What Asia is doing now, Africa is the next focus. In fact, there is a whole lot of capital and funding that is available for projects businessmen want to execute,” Adebayo added.
Nigeria’s Chargé d’Affaires to Ghana, Esther Adebola Arewa, said the commission, whose main purpose was to promote relations between the two countries, especially trade relations, would support the initiative and ensure a cordial relationship between both parties.
The three core pillars of TIFA are Trade, Investment, and Advisory Services.
The Board of Trustees includes; Mrs Mina Asamoah, Mr Akinwunmi Azeez, Mr Bola Akinsanya, Ms Ruth Osei Brown, Dr Chukwudi Ihenetu, Lawyer Stephen Badu, HRM Abdul Salami Saka, Prof. Emmanuel Gyau Lanz, Dr Adebayo Azeez, Engr. Segun Daniel Ajagunna and Mr. Donald Djobo.