The Secretary General of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, has stated that small and informal businesses would be offered greater protection to participate in export opportunities under the continental trade regime in order to survive and grow.
According to him, consolidating Africa into one trade area provides great opportunities for entrepreneurs, small businesses, informal sector businesses and consumers across the continent, unlocking trade and manufacturing potential and further enhancing ability to grow and industrialize in Africa.
“The introduction of a continental simplified trade regime should provide small and informal businesses with greater protection, and support their participation in the new export opportunities created by the AfCFTA.
With the operationalization of the AfCFTA, African markets present significant opportunities both to grow the existing market, but more importantly, set a base on the continent with access to other markets locally, regionally, and globally,” he said.
He reiterated that indeed, AfCFTA, if duly domesticated by countries and implemented as designed, could help Africa achieve the future it wants; an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa.
Mr. Mene, made these remarks, in his address on the occasion of the AFCFTA-Angola Business Investment Forum, the first time the Secretariat is holding such a Forum in its Headquarters.
Furthermore, he reiterated his confident in this new dawn of continental integration to present opportunities for both Angolan and Ghanaian companies in multiple sectors including agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, petroleum and hydrocarbon activities, environment, science and technology, and tourism.
Speaking on the occasion, President of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, stated that he is encouraged by the desire between Ghana and Angola to take further steps toward deepening the bilateral relations between the two countries to complement each other in addressing fundamental problems.
He further called for deepen collaboration to maximize resources use as he was optimistic that the two countries possess enormous natural and human resources that can be leverage to make prospects for progress and development.
“In reality, our two countries possess enormous resources of various kinds and for that very reason, huge potential for them to explore much more areas of cooperation in which we can make prospect for progress and development.
I am convinced that we can achieve the goals that I have alluded to by optimizing the use of the important continental mechanism to leverage its resources and obtain tangible results within the framework of the AfCFTA, so that we can promote undertaking of investments and businesses to propel development,” he said.
To buttress his point, the Angolan president, stressed that within the framework of his visit to Ghana, he has identified fields in which the two countries can implement cooperation activities to achieve mutually advantageous results with direct impact to improve the living conditions of the people; namely oil and gas exploration, agro-livestock, tourism and cultural sector.
Minister of Trade and Industries, Alan Kyerematen, also echoed the existing fraternal relations between the two countries, and further emphasized that AfCFTA provides a unique platform to guide Africa’s post COVID-19 economic recovery effort.
“Under the framework of AfCFTA, Ghana and Angola have a lot to gain from working together in fields such as Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock, Industry, Oil and Gas, the Petrochemical industry, value addition to our mineral resources, development of Energy resources particularly Renewable Energy and the FinTech industry”.
He urged businesses from both countries to familiarize themselves with negotiated protocols under the AfCFTA in order to take advantage of the AfCFTA to grow their businesses.