100 Ghanaian companies selected to participate in AfCFTA
Some hundred (100) Ghanaian companies have been identified and selected by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to be participants of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The identified companies, Dr Fareed Arthur, Head of Ghana AfCFTA Coordinating Office at the Trade Ministry notes, will be guided into the African market on the back of the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The selection of the companies by the Trade Ministry falls under its Facilitation programme for companies exporting under AfCFTA project which forms part of efforts to get local companies to leverage on the opportunities presented by the continental free trade programme.
According to Dr Arthur, the targeted companies fall under three categories: companies already exporting to African countries; companies that export but not to Africa, and companies that produce traditionally for the local market.
Dr Arthur, speaking at the sidelines of a stakeholders’ event organized by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said the Trade Ministry already has in place the various authorities for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA, demonstrating its long readiness for the landmark trade agreement.
According to him, the increase in the volume of trade and number of companies that are able to take advantage of the trade agreement will help measure trade agreement’s impact on the country’s economy.
The stakeholders’ meeting, held in Kumasi, was under the theme, “Unlocking the Potentials of Local Authorities to Harness the Benefits of African Continental Free Trade Area.”
The event was among others aimed at fashioning out the necessary trade tools and guidelines to create the requisite environment for local businesses to take advantage of AfCFTA, which is in its 7th month of implementation.
AfCFTA aims to commit countries to remove tariffs on 90 percent of goods, progressively liberalize trade in services and address a host of other non-tariff barriers.
AfCFTA is been pursued in cognisance of the overall aspirations of the African people, contained in ‘Agenda 2063,’ with the vision to establish an integrated continental market with the free movement of persons, capital, goods, and services.
Ghana has initiated processes and conversations on the opportunities the AfCFTA offers and how Ghanaian manufacturing companies and exporters could take full advantage to reach the larger African market.
However, these strategy formulation processes have not translated to the local government level on how the local economies could be integrated into the regional market.
It is against this background that the NDPC is collaborating with other stakeholders to help develop guidelines on intra-Africa trade for development planning processes of the district assemblies.
The stakeholders include United Nations Development Programme (UNPD), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and the National AfCFTA Coordinating Office.