The Managing Director of Agricultural Development Bank Plc, Dr. John Kofi Mensah has disclosed that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will help agribusiness entrepreneurs to access the African market.
The AfCFTA is a single market (duty-free-quota-free) trading bloc covering the entire African Continent with a total population of 1.3 billion with the objective to create a single continental market for goods and services.
Speaking on the side of the launch of the National AfCFTA Policy Framework Action Plan at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City in Accra, Dr. Kofi Mensah said Ghanaian entrepreneurs in the Agricultural sector can access a market with a combined Gross Domestic Product of almost US$3.4 trillion.
According to Dr. Kofi Mensah, government initiatives like the One District One Factory(1D1F) which ADB has been a key partner has the potential to help agribusiness entrepreneurs to expand their business for the African Market. “AfCFTA is a major global game-changer for entrepreneurs especially those in Agribusiness because as a continent we share similar agricultural products which can be cross traded,” he said.
The ADB Managing Director indicated with the critical role the sector plays in the Ghanaian economy the Agricultural sector remains a low hanging fruit the country can pluck to benefit from AfCFTA.
Dr. Kofi Mensah therefore urged players within the Agricultural Value Chain to take advantage of the AfCFTA to expand their business and export their products and services into other countries within the sub-region.
In his remarks at the launch, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen said that the establishment of the AfCFTA is arguably one of the most transformational decisions taken by the African Union.
The recognition of the potential benefits it could bring to Ghana is the driving rationale for the development of the National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan for Boosting Ghana’s Trade with Africa. “The agreement provides immense opportunities for industrialization and the development of regional value/ supply chains,” he said.
According to the Minister ongoing initiatives under Ghana’s Ten Point Industrial Transformation Agenda such as National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), the SME Development Initiative, the Establishment of Strategic Anchor Industries, the One District One Factory Programme and the establishment of Industrial Parks across the country are all designed to transform the economy and enable Ghana optimize its benefit from AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA is the most significant development in Africa since the establishment of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. It is the world’s largest Free Trade Area with a membership of 54 states.