Ghana to amass US$25.3bn from AfCFTA
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), together with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and National African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Coordination Office, have organised a regional conference for the people of Ahafo on the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement and National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).
The conference, held at the Pastorial Centre in Goaso, the capital of the region and assembled over 150 persons from both public and private sectors, was themed ‘Empowering Ghanaian Businesses to Harness the Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under the Framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).’
On behalf of the Trade Minister, the industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones Technical Advisor, Dr. John Hawkins Asiedu, in his address, said the purpose of the conference was to sensitise and prepare the people to position themselves to meet the requirements in the continental market when the agreement officially commences on January 14, 2021 among the agreed African countries.
“When the agreement is fully implemented, it will boost the intra-African trade by as much as 52.3 percent by 2022, and this could double as non-tariff barriers are eliminated,” he stated.
According to him, the government had established key national institutional structures to oversee the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement, including the Inter-Ministerial Facilitation Committee, National Steering Committee and Technical Working Groups on seven clusters for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) to help Ghanaians businesses fully participate in the AfCFTA.
He concluded by saying the government seeks the cooperation of the private sector to work together as stakeholders and strategic partners to unpack and address the complexities of the regional integration, whilst ensuring that the implementation of the AfCFTA leaves no one behind.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Human Resource and Administration for the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Albert Kassim Diwura, who spoke on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), explained that the document, which has 10 years lifespan, can help the country amass US$25.3 billion from now to 2029.
He hinted that currently what the GEPA seeks to do is to put more emphasis on value addition on products produced by both public and private institutions, in order to suit the market of the various countries agreed to be part of the agreement (AfCFTA).
He mentioned that the GEPA had drafted a policy called ‘One District One Exportable Product’, meaning every district would identify one product and cultivate it to be exported for foreign exchange.
The Ahafo Regional Director, Samuel Donkor, in his welcome address on behalf of the Regional Minister, thanked the organisers of the conference and encouraged the people of Ahafo to take full advantage of the agreement.
He explained that the agreement would help the region, which is a key producer of varieties of foodstuffs and natural resources, attract both internal and external investors, so all must get on board.
So far, 54 out of 55 countries, with the exception of Eritrea, have signed and 30 countries have ratified the agreement.