The Ghana National Coordinating Office (NACO) under AfCFTA has developed a new electronic Trade Information Repository platform to increase trade prospects of Ghanaian businesses in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) market.
The Ghana National Coordinating Office (NACO) of the African Continental Free Trade Area disclosed that the Trade Information Repository platform is interfaced with the African Trade Observatory (ATO) to boost trade between businesses both in Ghana and other African nations under the umbrella of AfCFTA.
The new platform, known as the Ghana Trade Information Repository (GTIR), will provide a real-time information on product-market opportunities across Africa. This will enable Ghanaian exporters to increase trade with the sub-region.
Senior Communications Advisor of the AfCFTA-NACO, Catherine Ablema Afeku, during a validation meeting with private sector associations in Accra, indicated that the local Coordinating Office is striving as much as possible not to make Ghanaian businesses lose out on the new market under AfCFTA– estimated to be as large as 1.2 billion people across Africa, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of US$3.4trillion.
Trade Groups Support GTIR
In the interim, trade groups, including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Private Enterprise Federation and the Association of Small-scale Industries indicated their preparedness to be part of the new technology in order to benefit from it.
Mrs. Afeku explained that the national policy framework on boosting trade with Africa that is being implemented by NACO, also highlights a trade information component that is critical to the success of local businesses in Ghana.
“The National Policy Framework and Action Plan on boosting trade with Africa is government’s overarching policy and programme of action to ensure Ghanaian businesses are positioned to take advantage of prospects presented by the AfCFTA agreement.”Mrs. Afeku
GTIR to Aid Local Exporters
The framework, Mrs. Afeku indicated, has seven components. One of which is the trade information that is intended to develop the Ghana Trade Information Repository (GTIR) to aid local exporters in Ghana under the pact. She averred that the GTIR, when in full implementation, will serve as a one-stop database or platform capable of providing a comprehensive data on market opportunities for local exporters, as well as information on market access conditions which can enable local entrepreneurs to venture into new markets and effectively manage associated risks.
The GTIR initiative, which was undertaken with support from the UK government, validated findings on identified market and trade information needs of Ghanaian exporters, and how the findings can be integrated into the development of a comprehensive market information portal.
Asantewaa Donkor of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), said the British government and her outfit are connected to NACO and the AfCFTA secretariat to ensure the success of trade in Ghana under the agreement.
Meanwhile, AfCFTA is committed on its strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive to create a common market for the African continent.