Ghana, Rwanda sign agreement to boost trade and investment

Ghana and Rwanda have agreed to boost trade and investment for both countries with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Accra.

The agreement, signed by the trade ministers of the two countries, seeks to develop and strengthen investment and trade ties to increase commercial exchanges among private sector operators.

This is to be achieved through the development and implementation of new strategies and measures that will significantly enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, observed that in spite of the good fraternal relations that existed between the two countries and the enormous role both played in making the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) a reality, trade and investment between the two had been low.

“We envisage that through this MoU, Ghana can become an entry point for Rwandan investments within the West African sub-region whilst Rwanda on the other hand can become a strategic entry point for Ghana into the Central and Eastern African markets,” he said.

The agreement, he said, presented an opportunity for the countries to share experiences and learn from the implementation of various industrialisation agenda programmes such as the Government’s 10-point Industrialisation Agenda.

This includes the One District One Factory initiative, Export Development Programme, Development of Small Medium Enterprises, and the creation of Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones.

“I would like to assure you, my sister and colleague, of our commitment to making this agreement an instrument of action and not a mere symbol of diplomatic courtesies,” he said.

Mrs Béata Habyarimana, the Rwandan Minister of Trade and Industry, said the MOU would be a blue-print for a continued bilateral cooperation within the AfCFTA Framework.

“Our two great leaders; Paul Kagame and Nana Akufo-Addo have provided a great direction on how to achieve intra Africa cooperation. It is, therefore, incumbent on us to fast track the economic links of our great countries,” she said.

The event was climaxed with an exchange of gifts between the two ministers.

The Executive Director of the Association of Ghana Industries, Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the event, welcomed the initiative and said the bilateral agreement would afford Ghanaians the opportunity to establish presence in East Africa.

To promote fairness, he expressed the optimism that the established protocols under the AfCFTA would address challenges associated with unfair trade practices.

“The challenge we usually have with such MoUs is ensuring its implementation and with assurances given by both ministers we are sure it will be implemented.”

Aside hosting the AfCFTA secretariat, Ghana hosted the AU Summit of Heads of State and Government in Accra in July, 2012 where the formal decision to establish the Free Trade Area was taken.

The AfCFTA agreement was then signed in March 2018 at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the AU Assembly of Heads of State in Kigali, Rwanda.

Source: GNA

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