A survey conducted by the Ghana International Trade and Conference (GITFic) on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) initiative has revealed that increased sensitisation is crucial to ensure businesses reap the benefits of the programme.
Ninety per cent of the respondents said the AfCFTA was relevant and more education was needed on the programme.
Also, 65 per cent of the respondents indicated that the implementation of the AfCFTA would have beneficial effects on their business.
The survey was to assess the views of the business community in the country with regards to the framework of the AfCFTA and the designation of Accra as the “commercial capital of Africa “.
The objective of the AfCFTA is to eliminate barriers to trade in Africa to significantly boost intra-Africa trade particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy.
Addressing the media here on Thursday on the findings of the survey, the Lead Researcher, Gerald Woode, said it was undertaken within a period of 12 weeks from February 2022 to April 2022 and was conducted in six regions namely Greater Accra, Ashanti, Volta, Northern and Eastern regions of the country with a total of 4,800 questionnaires administered to business enterprises.
He said 34 per cent of the respondents had not heard about the AfCFTA with majority of the respondents, 18.6 percent who gained information about AfCFTA from the radio and television.
The Lead Researcher said, he was optimistic that the findings of the survey, which was also aimed at serving key stakeholders in trade and industry, would serve as veritable reference for policy makers and key players in the AfCFTA ecosystem.
The Chief Executive Officer for GITFiC said the success of the AfCFTA project was largely dependent on education and therefore the engagement of the media was key in adequately sensitising the public to get the active participation of all actors in the consolidated trading space to give a true meaning to the project.
He said GITFic was also working hard at actively involving education institutions especially the tertiary institutions to get a wider coverage of the traders and the public to take advantage of it appropriately.
The Research Policy Advocate, Gideon Adzandeh, said the research was in no way aimed at criticising or pulling down the work of the AfCFTA but to make it better for the benefit of the country.
FROM DZIFA TETTEH TAY, TEMA