The National Programme of Action (NPA) being developed by government for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would be ready within the next three months, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen disclosed on Wednesday.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the three-day national conference in Accra on the implementation of the AfCFTA, he said: “It is only when you have an NPA, that you have the basis for implementation and there will be timelines associated with each set of activity.”
Mr Kyerematen indicated that, there was the need for an institutional mechanism to guide the planning and implementation, saying, “we will have an institutional structure at both the national and regional levels and hopefully at the district level.”
In addition, Mr Kyerematen said, there would be a national coordinating office that would plan, direct and coordinate all the AfCFTA implementation activities in the country.
He stated that there would be a national steering committee of which the head of each technical working group would be a member.
The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, challenged universities and research institutions to research into areas related to free trade to assist the country and continent to integrate appropriately.
“The University of Ghana Legon’s economics department should tell us how interest rates should be lower, this is a matter to be taken up seriously by academia so we spend money to resolve problems about AfCFTA”, he said.
Mr Osafo-Maafo urged the citizenry to put pressure on government to put policies in place to make products and industry cheaper and competitive.
He advised them to support AfCTA to create a more stable economic environment in order to ensure low levels of inflation, easy access to cheaper credit saying “consistency is the way to assist industry progress.”
BY ABEDUWAA LUCY APPIAH