By NBF News

Financial analysts have called for an increase in partnership and trade among African countries, as this will help in the continent's quest to develop.

The analysts, who spoke at the launch of the Vodafone African Business Leaders Forum ABLF, said that Africa abounds with plentiful opportunities that needed to be optimized through formation of the right partnerships guided by visionary and effective leaders.

'Everywhere we look we see opportunity - to build infrastructure, boost trade and investment, improve governance, bolster education and human development, and strengthen regional partnerships,' affirmed Mrs. Edith Dankwa, Executive Director of the Business & Financial Times.

Also speaking, Kyle Whitehill, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Ghana, said: 'I have worked in three different countries on three different continents - first in Europe, India and now Africa. And I have the greatest conviction that Africa is a place of opportunity for business.

'A leader is the one that can make the right decision at the right time, and have the conviction and belief to succeed. Vodafone is partnering ABLF to inspire the change that is needed to develop the continent. Vodafone is very passionate about leadership, Ghana and Africa.'

Speaking in the same vein, Chief Executive Officer, Progeny Ventures Incorporated,  Dr. Kofi Amoah, noted that Africa's quest to develop should be driven by inter regional trade.

He said, '50% of global trade happens within regions. African countries need to trade more among themselves. Ghana and Nigeria for instance should increase the volume of trade between them.

'The continent's resources are still intact; its population is about 950 million. What we need is leadership, the vision, courage, confidence and trust to develop these resources.'

Dr. Amoah noted that recent global events should conspire to give African an advantage. 'It is now up to the continent to create a balance in the economic system.'

He lauded the institution of the African Business Leaders Forum, ABLF, as a platform for charting a new path of growth for the continent.

Kyle Whitehill said that this year's Vodafone African Business Leaders Forum is convened to create a platform for African business leaders within and outside the continent to brainstorm on the creation of opportunities out of the misfortunes that have been experienced by the continent over the several years.

He said the forum will seek to advance the need for the pursuit of development and economic transformation for the continent.

'It will engender strategic collaboration between African business leaders on the continent and their compatriots in the Diaspora to revolutionize Africa's development agenda for a massive socio-economic turnaround.

'Confirmed speakers at this year's ABLF include: Mr. Kyle Whitehill, Dr. Kofi Amoah, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, CEO, UT Bank; Mr. Daniel Asiedu, Managing Director and C.E.O of Zenith Bank Ghana; Mr. Chris Harrison, Chairman Y&R Brands, Africa & India Ocean; Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communication, Ghana; Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade & Industry; and Dr. Yaw Perbi, Global C.E.O, The HuDGroup, Canada.'