The local economy stands to gain immensely from AfCFTA–the single continent-wide market– with an expected surge in foreign direct investments and increased income levels for Ghanaians, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten, has said.
“The AfCFTA is the gamechanger for the country and we should all work together to ensure that this agreement survives; there is no turning back, and we need to be convinced that there is value in the single continent-wide market.
“Hosting the AfCFTA Secretariat, for instance, will be the single most important factor for attracting FDIs. If an investor knows that he/she could reach the whole of Africa through Ghana, he/she will be convinced to invest,” he said at an inauguration for seven technical working groups tasked to develop a national program of action for boosting intra-Africa trade.
The AfCFTA is duty-free, quota-free single market and the largest single trade area which seeks to, amongst others, develop regional value chains to support industrialization and enhance the competitiveness of Africa’s private sector to the continent’s economic transformation.
Other direct benefits of the AfCFTA to the country, according to Mr. Kyeremanten, will be to enhance government’s industrial agenda, a ready market for small and medium enterprises as well as general reduction in the price of goods and services coming from across the continent.
“If we produce, we have to sell and to be able to sustain new enterprises that are emerging under the government’s initiatives, we should be able to export. Accessing other markets has not been easy and the AfCFTA offers a convenient platform,” he said.
On the continental front, he said the AfCFTA will be Africa’s trump card to compete among the big league of global traders.
“There is no evidence that a country has achieved significant growth without being part of a regional market. If Africa wants to be among the big league of global players, the starting point will be our regional market,” Mr. Kyeremanten indicated.
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, indicated in her remarks that the single continent-wide market will be a good boost for intra-Africa trade and the Ghanaian economy.
She assured that as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat, government remains committed to the success of the agreement and will provide the requisite tools and facilities to ensure that the core objectives of the market are achieved.
“The TWGs must work assiduously to protect and advance the country’s interest in the agreement; you must ensure that Ghana is not shortchanged and that its role in the continent-wide market will be beneficial to its citizens,” she advised.
The seven technical working groups will provide action plans for the seven thematic clusters of: trade facilitation; trade and development finance; enhancing production capacity; trade policy, factor market integration, trade-related infrastructure; and trade information.
Their work will help to domesticate the ideals of the AfCFTA to fit into the country’s priorities so that the Ghanaian economy could generate maximum benefits from the huge market.