Shippers Authority encourages importers and exporters to make the most of AfCFTA

importers and exporters
Participants at the AfCFTA sensitisation workshop in Tamale

Businesspersons, particularly importers and exporters, have been urged to leverage accurate information on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as it will serve them well in making the most of numerous opportunities presented by the agreement.

This was the key focus of a stakeholder engagement forum organised by the Ghana Shippers Authority (GSA) for importers and exporters in the Northern sector on benefits of the AfCFTA.

The forum had as its theme ‘African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA): opportunities and procedure’, and sought to equip local business entities with the right tools to make informed business decisions.

Participants were drawn from relevant bodies including the GSA, Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ministry for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, among others.

Speaking at the event in Tamale, Chief Executive Officer of GSA Benonita Bismarck represented by Sylvia Asana Dauda Owu said the forum was to educate shippers on developments in the international trading scene and equip them to be more competitive on the international market.

She noted that implementation of the single market which took effect from January 2021 has been a key initiative toward the continent’s development and prosperity. “Whereas the European Union can boast of over 70% intra-European trade, intra African trade is less than 11% of African’s total global trade,” she remarked – pointing to the opportunities which abound under the arrangement.

“It is therefore of great importance for shippers to understand the rules and procedures regulating implementation of the AfCFTA. This, apart from facilitating the businesses of shippers, will promote and increase the country’s international trade, improve foreign exchange earnings and help realise the ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda,” she explained.

She reiterated the GSA’s commitment to continue protecting and promoting the interests of shippers by dissemination of timely and relevant information and educational activities to help shippers make well-informed decisions.

The Assistant Commissioner of Customs Division of the GRA in charge of Tariff and Trade, and Responsible for Free Trade Agreements including AfCFTA, Fechin Akoto, stressed the need for business entities to acquire valid certificates to avoid any difficulties at the borders and ports.

He urged importers and exporters to liaise with the relevant regulatory and enforcement bodies to know the market standards required to make business easier.

The Ashanti Regional Branch Manager of the Authority, Isaac Tersiah Ackwerh – who is also in charge of the Northern sector, offering a rationale on the choice of Tamale for the engagement said: “The Northern sector has been known to provide a lot of non-traditional exports to generate foreign exchange for the country; therefore, it is appropriate that such a forum was held for shippers in the regions to speed up with AfCTA, so as to enable them take advantage of the opportunities”.

Leave a Reply