Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa, has said that the nation is scouting for products and companies with high export potential to support them in taking advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to make Ghana competitive in Africa.
According to him, there are constant efforts being advanced by the ministry toward positioning the country to benefit from the AfCFTA, and government is keen on supporting viable projects.
Answering a question from James Agalga during his vetting in parliament, Mr. Krapa noted that the nation is not satisfied with only hosting the AfCFTA secretariat, but is also bent on taking advantage of it to become a commercial hub on the continent.
“A lot has been done; so much has been done in terms of positioning Ghana to take advantage of the Free Trade Area. The institutional support framework, the inter-ministerial committee, steering committee, technical working groups and stakeholder working platforms; these have all been put in place to ensure that Ghana takes good advantage of the AfCFTA,” he said.
He added that: “I believe going forward we need to – and the ministry is working on this – identify products which have high export potential; identify companies having the capacity to do so; and identify those we can help and train to take advantage of the AfCFTA”.
He said Ghana will be working hard to introduce strategic anchor industrial initiatives to create new growth poles for the economy; establish industrial parks and special economic zones in at least each region (One Region, One Park); and promote small- and medium-scale enterprise development.
Other initiatives being pursued are the establishment of an industrial sub-contracting expo that will link certain needs for the supply chain of large-scale enterprises; promoting export diversification, with particular emphasis on non-traditional exports; improving domestic retail trade and promoting domestically manufactured goods (i.e., Made in Ghana goods).
The ministry also aims at enhancing the business-enabling environment to regulate businesses so they perform better; and promoting public-private sector dialogue as an institutionalised process for consultation – a platform that would be constantly used to deliberate on AfCFTA matters.
He observed that these policy initiatives and programmes will be complemented by other policy interventions across government, to leverage optimal support for development of the private sector that is expected to lead the AfCFTA drive.
He is optimistic that a well-executed programme will attract the intended foreign direct investment to help accelerate the nation’s industrialisation agenda, as well.