Ghana government has outlined interventions geared towards the harmonisation of existing laws, programmes, policies, and regulations to boost Ghana’s trade with Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The interventions were highlighted in a National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan that provided policy prescription and strategic objectives with focus on trade facilitation, trade policy, infrastructure, enhancing productive capacity, trade information, market integration and finance.
The document was put together by the AfCFTA Inter-Ministerial Committee, National AfCFTA Steering Committee and seven Technical Working Groups that comprised of representatives from the private sector, Senior Government Officials, and other technical experts.
At the launch on Tuesday, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who launched the document on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the implementation of the framework was crucial to ensuring Ghanaian businesses exported significantly into the African continent.
He, therefore, cautioned against any delay in effective implementation of the policy and its action plan as that could impede the gains of the country from the agreement.
“The effective operationalisation of the AfCFTA in Ghana would significantly boost Ghana’s balance of trade, stimulate investment and innovation, diversify exports, improve food security, foster structural transformation, enhance economic growth, and above all, provide jobs for the youth” he said.
Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Minister of Trade and Industry, called for stronger collaboration between public and private entities to empower the private sector in Ghana to harness the full benefit of AfCFTA.
“Government on its part, will provide the needed political impetus and create the enabling environment to ensure the successful implementation of AfCFTA in Ghana,” he said.
He noted that government had a vision of transforming Ghana into a modern industrialised country, which would become the new manufacturing hub of the continent.
In that regard, the effective implementation of the AfCFTA in Ghana through the policy framework and action plan, would undoubtedly make a significant contribution in realising the vision.
Mr. Mohamed Ali, Director of Trade in Goods and Competition, speaking on behalf of Mr Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, commended Ghana for the launch, especially after it had expressed interest in the secretariat-led initiative for guided trade under the AfCFTA.
The initiative would facilitate direct trade between Ghana and Egypt, Cameroon , Kenya as well as Mauritius.
“The Facilitated and Guided trade initiative will enable us to test the operational, institutional, legal and trade policy environment under the AfCFTA; allow commercially meaningful trading under the AfCFTA; and send an important positive message to the African economic operators about the veracity of the AfCFTA as well as its promise to create real opportunities in Africa.
“This initiative seeks to facilitate commercially meaningful trading, among interested State Parties that have met the minimum requirements for trade, under the Agreement,” he said.