Business Development Minister, Dr Mohammed Awal, during the launch of Young Women in Entrepreneurship this week also used the occasion to appeal to businesses not to sit aloof without partaking in the free trade which kicks off in January 2021.
“Ghana should not be a spectator in AfCFTA. Ghana should prepare its people and take advantage of the continental free trade business that’s going to rake in 3.3 billion”.
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) also took the opportunity to advise businesses to take advantage of Ghana’s hosting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat to become competitive.
AfCFTA, set to officially launch in January 2021, is expected to unlock new business prospects across Africa, with logistics, cold storage and warehousing, manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and technology, identified as key sectors and areas where which Dubai businesses can tap into new opportunities.
Connecting 1.3 billion people across 55 countries, the AfCFTA will create the largest free trade area in the world with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion.
AfCFTA is the African continent’s most ambitious integration initiative, embedded in the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, whose main objective is to create a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of people and investments, thus expanding intra-African trade across the continent, enhancing competitiveness and supporting economic transformation in Africa.
Intra-Africa trade has been historically low. Intra-African exports were 16.6% of total exports in 2017, compared with 68% in Europe and 59% in Asia, pointing to untapped potential.
As global trade rules are being eroded in other regions, with China and the United States spiralling into a trade war and protectionism tightening its grip in many countries, Africa has the opportunity to create a trade buffer for itself.