AU team in Ghana to assess Secretariat

A ten-member delegation from the African Union (AU) Commission yesterday arrived in Accra to commence with assessment of Ghana’s preparedness to host the Africa Continental Free Trade Secretariat.

The delegation which would be in the country for the next seven days is  led by  Rosette Nyirin Kindi Katugye, the AU Advisor on Regional Integration at the Bureau of the Chairperson and they would as part of their schedule  inspect the proposed office accommodation, residential  and other ancillary facilities for the secretariat.

Briefing the media on the visit, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said Ghana tabled in a bid to host the yet to be established headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According to him, Ghana over the years had proven to be a leader on the continent in many things, and had been at the forefront of making the argument for a free trade area in Africa.

He said it was therefore appropriate for the country to be given the chance not only to host the secretariat but also continue to champion the issues of continental free trade as a means of promoting socio-economic development of the people.

Mr Nkrumah said Ghana had a fair idea of the number of countries competing with her for the slot but was focused on working on the things that would ensure that it got the chance to host the secretariat.

He explained that over the next few days the delegation would be taken round to inspect the facilities which would include a number of resources that would be required with the hope that Ghana would be chosen.

“If you have the headquarters of the African Free Trade Secretariat in your country, then you are likely to derive a lot of political and policy clout out of it apart from the local businesses associated with it,” he emphasised.

So far seven other countries whose identities were yet to be disclosed have also submitted their bids to host the secretariat.

By Cliff Ekuful

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