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Sun, Sep

AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA IMPLEMENTATION CONFERENCE OPENS TODAY

Business & Economy

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will open a three-day national conference on the implementation of the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) today in Accra.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will open a three-day national conference on the implementation of the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) today in Accra.

 

The conference will bring together leading interest groups to discuss national strategies and programme interventions to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA.

The President is expected also to articulate Ghana’s vision for the AfCFTA vis-à-vis the Beyond Aid agenda.

The conference

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government was inviting all participants stakeholders to contribute to the success of the conference.

Among those taking part in the event ‒ dubbed “Harnessing the Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area for a Ghana Beyond Aid” ‒ will be senior policymakers, MPs, business leaders, academics, representatives of civil society organisations, development partners and the press from Ghana and beyond.

Core mandate

The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union selected Ghana as the host country for the AfCFTA secretariat in July at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit, held in Niamey, Niger.

The core mandate of the secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.

The continent is confident that the trade agreement will iincrease intra-African trade through better harmonisation and co-ordination of trade within the African continent.

It is estimated that intra-African trade will increase by 2022 by as much as $35 billion per year, or 52 per cent.

Imports from outside the continent could decrease by the equivalent of US$10 billion per year, whereas agricultural exports will increase by $4bn above the baseline and industrial exports by $21bn.

The deal is also expected to address the challenge of small and fragmented markets in Africa by creating a single continental market that will lead to economies of scale.

It will add further value to Africa’s abundant natural resources and promote economic diversification and industrialisation, as well as develop regional value chains and facilitate cross border investments in Africa.

The AfCFTA is also expected to attract foreign direct investment into Africa with strong regional and local content to help address foreign exchange constraints.

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