A nationwide consultation with the private sector to access their readiness for AfCFTA implementation has begun in Accra.
The consultation is focusing on six sectors of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) members who are in agri-business, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and herbal, garment, textile and leather, plastics and hardware as well as the hospitality and tourism industry sectors.
“The stakeholder consultation with the private sector is very important as it will help in assessing their knowledge and understanding of AfCFTA, rules of origin, capacity to produce and export to other African countries, as well as identifying the challenges that could impede their ability to take full advantage of the AfCFTA,” said Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director for CUTS.
Mr. Adomako added that the ability of Ghana to take full advantage of the AfCFTA agreement depends largely on the readiness of Ghanaian industry. While a company can be ready at the firm level, there is also the need for our macroeconomic variables to be ready. For example, a firm in Ghana that borrows at an average of 28% per annum cannot compete with firms in South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius which borrow on average at 7% per annum.
The consultation forms part of a study assessing the Ghanaian private sector’s readiness for AfCFTA implementation. The study is being undertaken by a research and advocacy policy think-tank called CUTS with support from the BUSAC Fund.
The BUSAC Fund is a donor-pooled fund to support private sector advocacy and is supported by DANIDA and USAID.
It is expected that the study will produce a diagnostic report that will help to develop practical steps in addressing gaps and challenges identified by the private sector with regard to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).