Government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO), has unveiled the National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan to boost Ghana’s trading prospects with the 43 member countries of the bloc.
The framework, which is geared toward the harmonisation of relevant policies, programmes, laws and regulations to boost the productive capacities of the private sector in Ghana, particularly the MSMEs, is to harness the full benefits of the continental trade area agreement.
Launching the policy framework in Accra on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said: “A successful implementation of the Action Plan will boost the capacities of the Ghanaian private sector to take advantage of market access opportunities in Africa to promote ‘made in Ghana’ goods and services.
“It is significant to note that our National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan was derived from the work of the national structures put in place by the Trade Ministry to advance Ghana’s interest in the AfCFTA project,” the President said.
He maintained that African economies cannot overcome the current global challenges occasioned by the incidence of COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict if the continent does not implement measures to improve the productive capacities of the private sector to increase intra-African trade.
The effective operationalisation of the AfCFTA agreement in Ghana, according to the President, would significantly boost the country’s balance of trade, stimulate investment, diversify exports, improve food security, foster structural transformation, enhance economic growth, and provide jobs for the youth.
Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen reiterated that Ghana, as a host to the Secretariat of the AfCFTA, has a critical role to play in its implementation.
“Hosting the AfCFTA provides several opportunities to the country, including an enhanced image as an investment destination in Africa. As headquarters, Ghana requires sustained political commitment and leadership to encourage the rest of the continent to take bold, critical but difficult steps needed to bring prosperity to Africa,” he indicated.
Indeed, the AfCFTA provides immense opportunities for industrialisation and the development of regional value chains covering strategic sectors of the economy, including the 1D1F policy, the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), and the establishment of industrial parks and special economic zones across the country.
A representative of the Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Mohammed Ali, commended Ghana for setting the pace and leading by example to rollout a national action plan to boost trade with the rest of Africa under the pact.
“The AfCFTA secretariat congratulates Ghana on this feat, and for taking this whole initiative earnestly,” Mr. Mohammed noted.
Why a national action plan for the AfCFTA?
The AfCFTA is a single market (duty-free, quota-free) trading bloc covering the entire African continent, with a population of 1.3 billion and GDP of almost US$3.4trillion.
As the largest trading bloc in the world, outside the World Trade Organisation, the current membership of 54 countries give enough impetus and leverage for Ghana to carefully execute an action plan that would harness all available opportunities in these individual economies.