Mr Divine Kutortse, the Enterprise Support Officer at the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, has called on Ghanaian businesses to harness the enormous potential of the AfCFTA for the growth of their businesses.
According to the Enterprise Support Officer at the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, Ghanaian businesses need to position themselves and deviate from the norm of trading in raw materials to trading in processed goods to derive the maximum benefit from the AfCFTA.
“If we are to consider Africa as a country, we would have been the second largest economy in the entire world, so there is an enormous potential in the ACFTA for us. If we are going to trade competitively, then we must start doing new things, we must start thinking internationally.”Mr Divine Kutortse
Mr Kutortse made this known in a presentation on the National Policy Framework and Action Plan of AfCFTA in Wa during a regional conference and stakeholder engagement on the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.
The engagement, which was aimed at discussing the potential and challenges inherent in the AfCFTA, brought together diverse stakeholders, including Heads of Departments and business operators in the Upper West Region.
Mr Kutortse indicated that the successful implementation of the AfCFTA would remove the trade barriers between African countries to foster intra-Africa trade. He explained that the AfCFTA policy, among other things, sought to promote cross-border trade among women and young people-led Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana since they form a chunk of the private enterprises.
The Enterprise Support Officer stressed the importance of financial support for MSMEs in harnessing the full potential of the AFCFTA. He noted that the AfCFTA policy would also support financial institutions to develop new products for the MSMEs in the country.
Alhaji Yakubu Yussif, the Senior Advisor of Monitoring and Evaluation at AfCFTA, disclosed that they have embarked on a series of programmes to ensure the realisation of the objective of the AfCFTA agreement.
The Enormous Benefits of the AfCFTA
Alhaji Yakubu Yussif explained that the enormous benefits of the AfCFTA, including the situation of the secretariat in Ghana cannot be harnessed by Ghanaian businesses if they do not understand what it takes to trade under AfCFTA, hence the need for the regional conference.
Mr Peter Maala, the Upper West Regional Coordinating Director, observed that Ghana’s commitment to fostering trade within Africa is a strategic vision that aligns with the country’s development goals. He expressed confidence that the outcome of the regional conference and stakeholder engagement would prove beneficial to the Upper West Region and the nation as the country sought to strengthen its trade relationship with the rest of Africa.
“As we navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by an everlasting global economy landscape, it is imperative for us to diversify trade with our trade partners to cease the potentials that lie within our continent,” Mr Maala explained.
Meanwhile, other institutions that made presentations at the conference included the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Exim Bank, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, and Ghana Enterprise Agency.