The private sector must take advantage of the numerous possibilities the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents, says the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the AfCTA offered a great opportunity for the private sector to expand and diversify their investment portfolios.
President Nana Akufo-Addo made the call in Accra yesterday in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta at the opening of the ninth Ghana Economic Forum (GEF).
The annual programme organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) is under the theme “Resetting the Economy beyond COVID-19; Building Economic Resilience and Self-Sufficiency.”
President Akufo-Addo indicated that the AfCTA initiative which implementation would start in January next year would boost intra- African trade and create a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
“The AfCTA will enhance the continent’s export diversification, stimulate investment in innovation, promote food security for the structural transformation of African economies and unleash the entrepreneurial dynamism of the African peoples and create jobs for Africa’s youth,” he said.
“We in Ghana cannot afford to let this window of opportunity slip and we expect that the private sector facilitated and actively supported by the government will be at the forefront of trying to take advantage of the vast possibilities presented by the AfCTA,” he said.
He said the goal of the government was to transform Ghana into a hub of financial services, petrochemicals, logistics, manufacturing, financial technology companies and education.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator, Charles Abani entreated the government to build better partnerships with international financial institutions and development finance institutions to raise resources to “build back and sustain our economy better.”
Mr Abani said the UN had supported the government in its emergency preparedness response plan to protect lives and was poised to roll out the UN Socioeconomic Response and Recovery Plan (SERRP) to support the government’s ‘Obatanpa’ CARES programme.
The Chief Executive Officer of B&FT, Dr Godwin Acquaye, in his remarks said the GEF was started in 2012, when Ghana had started the production of oil in commercial quantities.
Over the past eight years, the GEF had evolved into an influential platform for businesses, government, the international donor community and civil society to come together to shape the economic agenda of the country.
“These meetings are important points of connection for all our communities. It is your opportunity to take advantage of the platform we have built – not only to bring you together, but also to catalyse action from your ideas,” he told the participants.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE