34% of  businesses not aware of AfCFTA – survey

Ghanaian business enterprises

A survey has shown that about 34 percent of Ghanaian business enterprises have not heard about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The nation-wide survey on acceptability of the AfCFTA in Ghana by the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has shown that a high rate of 66.5 percent of businesses responding to the survey indicated that implementing the AfCFTA will have a beneficial effect on their business.

Again, over 90 percent of respondents stated that sensitisation on the AfCFTA will be relevant to ensuring that Ghana harnesses optimal benefits under the preferences presented by the continental liberalised market.

Speaking at the survey’s launch, Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC Selasi Koffi Arkom said the survey’s results points to an urgent need for more sensitisation on the AfCFTA.

“The survey has established the need for a sustained sensitisation drive for the business community in Ghana, and even across Africa. There is almost no sensitisation happening on the subject matter aside from the one our outfit undertook during 2021 in major regional commercial capitals across Ghana,” he said.

“We at the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) strongly believe that through your sustained help we can jointly change the narrative on low sensitisation, and spark the business community and general public’s interest in the vast opportunity the Continental Free Trade Area brings to the African Continent,” he noted.

A total of 4,800 questionnaires were administered to business enterprises in six sampled regions of Ghana. A non-disguised questionnaire containing close-ended and open-ended questions was developed to elicit the perspectives of respondents. A total of 2,572 questionnaires were used for the analysis.


The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the largest free trade area in the world measured by the number of countries participating. The pact connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4trillion.

It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but achieving its full potential will depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures. As the global economy is in turmoil due to the COVID-19 pandemic, creation of the vast AfCFTA regional market is a major opportunity to help African countries diversify their exports, accelerate growth and attract foreign direct investment.

The scope of AfCFTA is large. The agreement will reduce tariffs among member-countries and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and technical barriers to trade. It will complement existing sub-regional economic communities and trade agreements in Africa by offering a continent-wide regulatory framework, and by regulating policy areas – such as investment and intellectual property rights protection – that so far have not been covered by most sub-regional agreements in Africa.

The AfCFTA will significantly boost intra-African trade from the present 12 percent – which is the lowest as compared to intra-EU trade, intra-Asian Trade and intra- North American trade standing at 68 percent, 53 percent and 46 percent respectively.

A successful implementation of the AfCFTA would increase intra-African Trade by as much as US$35billion per year, or 52 percent above the baseline by 2022. Consequently, imports from outside the continent could decrease by US$10billion per year; meanwhile, Agricultural and Industrial exports would increase by US$4billion (7 percent) and US$21billion (5 percent) above the baseline respectively.

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