MESSAGE FROM CONVENOR - Sipho Mbele
South Africa was ranked as number one in the world, as a destination for global business services (BPO) in a survey conducted by 600 executives.
The highlight of the month of April was of course Freedom Day on Tuesday the 27th, the commemoration and honoring of the anniversary of the long struggle for liberation of our country from apartheid in 1994.
The Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), webinar entitled – “The AfCFTA – Opportunities for South African Business”. We were fortunate to have had speakers, the General Manager of the ANC, Cde Febe Potgieter; the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC), Hon Fikile Majola; the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, H E Wamkele Mene; and the Chief Director: African Multilateral Economic Relations: The DTIC, Sandile Tyini.
The significant participation in this webinar bears witness to the enthusiasm and constructive spirit that accompanies the African Continental Free Trade Area, by number, the largest trading bloc in the world and with the combined economic power of the continent, holds enormous potential for growth, the reduction of poverty and the creation of jobs across our continent.
Looking ahead, the PBF plans to hold further such engagements on the AfCFTA, convinced that active participation by South Africans holds mutual benefit to all our people.
The PBF looks forward to ongoing engagements in the months ahead that will stimulate the interest of its subscribers and indeed to harness our greatest strengths together.
I am reminded of the words of former President Thabo Mbeki in his “I am an African” speech delivered in 1996. They are words of strength, encouragement and enthusiasm and seem to encapsulate the mood of resoluteness and resilience of the country as profoundly today as they did then:
“Whoever we may be, whatever our immediate interest, however much we carry baggage from our past, however much we have been caught by the fashion of cynicism and loss of faith in the capacity of the people, let us err today and say – nothing can stop us now!”