Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankwawoso I, President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has said the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) would provide a single economic space with harmonized trade policies and regulatory framework.
He said the CFTA was an instrument to rationalize trade negotiations, reduce the cost of doing business, support industrialization and stimulate cross-border infrastructure projects.
Nana Dankwawoso was speaking at the two-day 2017 Africa Prosperity Conference on the theme: “The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA)-Exploring Possibilities for the Business Engagement across Africa.”
He said Africa had just experienced 20-year period of noteworthy growth and development and these considerable economic achievements have helped to transform the world’s view of this region, and have given new hope for the future.
Nana Dankwawoso said the CFTA constituted a unique opportunity to drive Africa’s transformation and development.
“The frameworks for negotiating and liberalizing goods and services are well in progress. The next steps will probably focus on the mechanics of implementation,” he added.
He expressed the hope that the continent would secure a high-quality CFTA that delivers real results and see its exports within Africa beat every record seen in its history.
He said Africa have shown an impressive ability to adapt and to thrive.
Nana Dankwawoso expressed the hope that the conference recommendations to be presented to the African Union leader would help address private sector concerns with the CFTA and deepen intra-Africa trade for our mutual benefits.
Dr David Luke, the Coordinator for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), said the realization of the CFTA policy would transform Africa’s economy and would create decent jobs for about one million people under the 54 member countries.
Dr Luke said the CFTA would include a GDP of $150 trillion and would see a reduction in tariffs for business owners under the CFTA.
“The CFTA will include 54 African countries and will have a combine population of one million people,’’ he added.
He said ‘’women must be provided better protection along the corridors of the CFTA and that participating government must ensure that African women and youth are better placed to participate and gain from the benefits from the CFTA’’.
He said the African market was of great interest to foreign partners so opportunities provided by the CFTA should be capitalised on by both small and large African businesses.