High level policy dialogue on AfCFTA opens on Monday

The Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission (AUC), are organising a High-Level Conference on the AfCFTA from 19-21 August 2019 at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The event will focus on Harnessing Benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for a Ghana Beyond Aid.

The purpose of the National Conference is to bring together key stakeholders in Ghana to discuss national strategies and programme interventions to harness benefits from the AfCFTA. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will use the opportunity to articulate his vision for the AfCFTA toward a Ghana Beyond Aid.

Participants will include Senior Policymakers, Parliamentarians, the Business Community, Academia, Representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Development Parties and the Media. The Conference will also allow deeper reflection on issues pertinent to the advancing the economy of Ghana within the AfCFTA framework.

Speakers include:

  • President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
  • Vice President Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
  • Mr. Alan Kyerematen, Minister for Trade and Industry
  • Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP), Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
  • Dr. Vera Songwe, UNECA Executive Secretary
  • Amb. Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission
  • Albert Muchanga, AU Trade and Industry Commissioner
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Background

The operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was launched in Niamey, Niger, on 7th July 2019 at the African Union’s Extraordinary Summit, with a transition period up to 1 July 2020 when trading will begin under the deal.

Ghana was selected by the AU Heads of State in July 2019, in Niamey, Niger, to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), making it responsible for overseeing implementation of the agreement. The country has committed to donate US$10million for operationalisation of the AfCFTA Secretariat. Ghana was among the first group of countries to ratify the agreement on 10 May 2018, following the 21 March 2018 signing of the Agreement in Kigali, Rwanda, by 44 AU member-states

The Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019, after ratification by the required 22 AU member-states.

The AfCFTA provides an opportunity for Africa to create the world’s largest free trade area, with the potential to unite 1.3 billion people in a US$2.5trillion economic bloc and usher in a new era of development. The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a continental market for goods and services with free movement of people and capital, and pave the way for creating a Customs Union.

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Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten,

It will also grow intra-African trade through better harmonisation and coordination of trade liberalisation across the continent. The AfCFTA is further expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level, through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access, and better reallocation of resources.

In meeting these objectives, the AfCFTA will become a key engine of economic growth, industrialisation and sustainable development in Africa, in line with the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 for ‘The Africa We Want’.

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