President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday launched the national African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Policy Framework and Action Plan.
AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects the African Union (AU) has adopted under its Agenda 2063, a blueprint and master plan on aspirations geared towards economic growth and development for the rapid transformation of the continent.
In brief, AfCFTA is meant to eliminate barriers to trade, in order to significantly boost intra-Africa trade and services, particularly in value-added products and trade across all sectors of the continent’s economy.
Trading under AfCFTA officially took off on January 1, 2021.
A National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan encapsulates country-specific measures or strategies that dovetail into the AfCFTA framework and related objectives.
With that understanding, it should be clear that every African country should identify products that can give it the best advantage on the continental market.
From the speech given on behalf of the President at the launch of the national AfCFTA national action plan, it is clear the country has put some strategies together, hence his charge to the Ministry of Trade and Industry to expedite efforts and effectively implement programmes aimed at boosting Ghana’s export to other African countries.
What the Ghanaian Times is delighted about is that the successful implementation of the programmes would empower local businesses to engage in exports, which would ultimately enhance local economic activities to boost Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and earnings of businesses.
That is to say, for instance, that AfCFTA can help local industries to get a large market where they would gain good profits to survive, expand and create jobs.
Every economy thrives on businesses dealing in both goods and services, and sometimes even after building their capacities to be able to operate beyond their home countries, certain barriers in the targeted countries prevent them from doing so.
Hopefully, with the broad objective of AfCFTA collapsing any such barriers, coupled with the assurance given by the President, businesses in the country which had hitherto found it difficult to explore outside markets should now enjoy the ease to do so, at least, in African countries.
It will be the greatest joy of the Ghanaian Times that the country’s businesses capable of taking advantage of AfCFTA would do so in earnest.
This is particularly because if businesses do well, the economy will expand with all the associated benefits, and as envisaged by the government, the vision of ‘GhanaBeyond Aid’ can become a reality.
The country must leverage the opportunities under AfCFTA for industrialisation and the development of regional value chains covering strategic sectors of its economy.
In line with this, the Ghanaian Times appeals to the government to give the needed assistance to businesses, including even small ones, to grow towards becoming entities fit to operate in the market AfCFTA offers.