The Secretary-General of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has indicated its preparedness in launching a payment and settlement digital platform as a conduit for enhancing market access within the region.
Speaking at the two day AfCFTA conference, Mr. Mene noted that the payment platform will invariable augment efforts in effectively improving transactions.
“I am pleased to announce to you that we are collaborating very closely with the Afrexim (African Export-Import) Bank and other stakeholders on the African continent to establish an efficient and affordable payments and settlement digital platform for cross border transactions through a digitized pan African payments and settlements system in support of the implementation of AFCTCA.”
“By providing the requisite settlement backstop and liquidity, the Afrexim Bank shall be given practical means to our shared objective of an integrated market in Africa. Without an efficient and cost effect pan African payment platform the private sector will continue to be constrained in accessing new markets. Under the AFCTCA we are working flat out to ensure the platform is rolled ASAP as soon as trading has started in Jan 2021”.Wamkele Mene
President Akufo-Addo, who gave a keynote address on the opening day, had endeared Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is set to commence next year.
“Empowered Ghanaian enterprises should be frontline actors in this new exciting journey in Africa’s economy. We owe it to generations unborn to ensure the biggest trading bloc on the globe whose outcomes will be rewarding to all Africans in which we will assist in attaining the Africa we want, does not falter. I congratulate the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority for leading this effort and preparing Ghana for afro market.”
“In the same vein, I commend all institutions in particular the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, ABSA bank and Stanbic Bank for supporting the organization of this important conference. Let us work together as stakeholders and strategic partners to unravel the complexities of regional integration and ensure the implementation of the AFCTCA leaves no one behind,” President Akufo-Addo reiterated.
In his address on the first day, the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten, significantly highlighted the necessity for the country to diversify its export base, in order to maximize the advantages of AfCFTA.
“In order to take advantage of AFCTCA, Ghana needs to diversify our export base. We can no longer continue to export only cocoa and gold, and become an export based economy. If as a country we want to take advantage of AFCTCA, we have to diversify our export base and export more of value added products. I’m pleased that at the core of our national export development strategy, is to focus on non-traditional exports”.Alan Kyeremanten
The National Conference on the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, brought together relevant stakeholders, to discuss export development interventions geared towards empowering the private sector to harness the benefits of AFCFTA.
It was under the theme, Empowering Ghanaian Businesses to Harness the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under the framework of the National Export Development Strategy.