Home » AfCFTA: A Game-Changer for Ghanaian Businesses, Says President Akufo-Addo

AfCFTA: A Game-Changer for Ghanaian Businesses, Says President Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo commends exporters for their achievements and assures them of government’s support.

by Motoni Olodun

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaian businesses to seize the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to expand their portfolio and compete globally.

The AfCFTA, which came into effect on January 1, 2021, is the world’s largest free trade area, covering a market of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of $3.4 trillion. It aims to boost intra-African trade, promote industrialization, and create jobs across the continent.

Speaking at the 31st and 32nd President’s National Awards for Export Achievement in Accra, President Akufo-Addo said the AfCFTA was a real game-changer for Africa’s economic development and integration.

“It is a real game-changer, and once fully realized, we can potentially increase on an annual basis, according to the Economic Commission for Africa, intra-Africa trade increase by some $35 billion and reduce external imports by some $10 billion,” he stated.

He added that the AfCFTA would also strengthen Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations, and enhance the competitiveness of African economies in the global market.

President Akufo-Addo commended the Ghanaian exporters who received awards for their outstanding performance, innovation, and quality in the non-traditional export sector. He said their businesses had contributed significantly to the growth of the Ghanaian economy, the creation of jobs, and the improvement of the balance of payments.

He also assured them of the government’s support to facilitate, develop, and promote Ghana’s non-traditional exports, and to review the governing laws of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) to position them better for the AfCFTA era.

The event, which was jointly organized by the GEPA and the GFZA, recognized more than 20 exporters for their achievements in the years 2019 and 2020. The award categories included the highest exporter, the most diversified exporter, the most innovative exporter, the best woman exporter, and the best exporter in various sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, services, handicrafts, and minerals.

The AfCFTA Secretariat, which is based in Accra, also participated in the event and showcased its online platforms and tools to facilitate trade under the AfCFTA regime. These include the e-tariff book, the non-tariff barriers portal, the pan-African payments and settlement system, and the adjustment fund.

The AfCFTA Secretariat’s Director of Trade in Services, Investment, and Intellectual Property Rights, Mr. Silver Ojakol, said the Secretariat was working closely with the national authorities and the private sector to ensure the smooth implementation of the AfCFTA and to address any challenges that may arise.

He also encouraged the Ghanaian exporters to take advantage of the AfCFTA to access new markets, diversify their products, and increase their value addition.

The AfCFTA is expected to boost Ghana’s exports by 14.6 percent and increase its GDP by 1.4 percent by 2035, according to a World Bank report. Ghana is also expected to benefit from increased investment, productivity, and welfare gains under the AfCFTA.

However, the report also warns that the AfCFTA will pose some adjustment costs and challenges for Ghana, such as increased competition, trade diversion, and revenue losses. It recommends that Ghana should adopt complementary policies to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs of the AfCFTA.

These policies include improving the business environment, enhancing trade facilitation, investing in infrastructure, strengthening social protection, and supporting the sectors and workers that may be adversely affected by the AfCFTA.

As the host of the AfCFTA Secretariat and one of the champions of the AfCFTA, Ghana has a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead by example and to inspire other African countries to realize the vision of a prosperous and integrated continent.

Source: Ghana Business News

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