Mr Jacob Gyamfi-Aidoo, Senior Advisor, Capacity Building and Stakeholders Engagement at African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), has advised manufacturers and food processors to properly package their products to meet international standards as the nation implements the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
Mr Jacob Gyamfi-Aidoo, while giving the advice, explained the AfCFTA agreement comes with a huge economic potential and enormous benefits for both Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Senior Advisor, Capacity Building and Stakeholders Engagement at African Continental Free Trade Area, moreover, noted that the SMEs ought to meet certain specifications and standards for their products to meet international market demands.
Mr Gyamfi-Aidoo indicated that proper packaging of local products enhanced market opportunities, disclosing that the AfCFTA would build the capacity of businesses in business processes, including record keeping, packaging and marketing.
Mr Gyamfi-Aidoo iterated the importance of AfCFTA, urging the MSMEs and food processors and manufacturers to capitalize on the AfCFTA, and build and expand their economic activities to enhance their socio-economic livelihoods.
Mr Gyamfi-Aidoo made this known on the sidelines of the Bono Regional conference on the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement in Sunyani.
Essential Part of Ghana’s Development
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, noted that trade is an essential part of Ghana’s and the African continent’s development.
“Over the years, our efforts to boost trade competitiveness have been subdued by the sheer strength and muscles of global trading giants to our detriment. This has resulted in Ghana and Africa losing out significantly because our products do not find fair and equal acceptance on the international stage. Heads of state and governments of our continent have collectively led the way to establish a common marketplace to facilitate trade within our borders.”Justina Owusu-Banahene
Meanwhile, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement is a development instrument that provides an opportunity for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to export to other African countries, thus boosting intra-African trade. Yet, MSMEs lack relevant information on product entry requirements, and on processes and procedures to access the single African market.
To bridge the gap, the Ghana National AfCFTA Coordinating Office (NCO) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is training selected MSMEs on how to trade under the AfCFTA. The training falls within UNDP’s integrated support for women and youth-led MSMEs in Ghana to support Government COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The UNDP Integrated MSMEs Support programme includes business development services including access to finance, capacity for good corporate governance and awareness creation to prevent radicalization, as well as energy and resource efficiency support. This AfCFTA training, which falls within the business development services for the MSMEs, also forms part of the NCO’s Market Expansion Project aimed at equipping businesses to harness the full benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
With MSMEs accounting for a substantial amount of economic activity in the country, the AfCFTA provides an opportunity for them to expand their economic footprints and contribute to the general growth of Ghana’s economy.
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