The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, responsible for International Trade and Export Trade, Herbert Krapa has charged Africans to own AfCFTA and work together towards the fruition of the initiative as the surest way to securing the maximum gains of AfCFTA.Benefiting from AfCFTA comes with a lot of work – GNCC CEO
Delivering a keynote address at a conference organized by Konrad Adenauer Stiffung (KAS) and Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in Accra, Mr. Krapa reiterated the point that achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063 will not come by chance. As such, Africa needs a new paradigm of leveraging its resource to boost intra-African trade.
“We cannot let down the momentum that African Continental Free Trade Area gives us today, to give a better account of the second half of those 100 years, better than we have done in the previous years” Mr. Krapa emphasised.
The effective implementation of AfCFTA provides a clear opportunity for Africa to dispel the notion that Africans are incapable on their own. Mr Krapa thus charged “each Member State, to show sustained political will and commitment from the highest level of executive authority, as well as a robust National Programme of Action to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA. Such programmes must be mainstreamed into national development strategies. The Africa we want is the Africa we must agree to work for”.
Taking into consideration the relevance of effective collaboration among stakeholders to AfCFTA’s success, Mr Krapa urged the academia, institutions of learning and development partners “to pivot towards accompanying the continent on this transformation in a manner that accelerates widespread attainment of socioeconomic progress”.
Touching on the measures put in place by the government to attract maximum gains in AfCFTA, Mr Krapa explained that government has established an institutional framework made up of an inter-ministerial facilitation committee at the apex, the national AfCFTA steering committee, the national AfCFTA coordination office and seven technical working groups in key thematic areas for boosting Intra African trade.
The Guest of Honour, His Excellency Daniel Krull, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Ghana, on his part urged stakeholders to contribute towards realistic and sustainable policies that will challenge the potential competitions from other African countries within the agreement who are desirous to attract the maximum gains of AfCFTA to their home countries.
Intra-African trade remains one of the lowest in the world standing at some 12-16% of Africa’s combined Gross Domestic Product compared to other parts of the world such as the European Union’s 75%.
This raises critical concerns about Africa’s development. AfCFTA is a single most important decision of the African Union to address poverty and structural transformation issues on the continent. It is the fulcrum underlying the development of Regional Value Chains, and, ultimately a Made in Africa Revolution by increasing market opportunities and expanding market size, improving access to better and lower costs inputs, thinning borders to reduce the cost and time of trade and enabling resources and skills transfer. The treaty tends to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day.
The two-day 2021 conference series being held at the GIMPA executive conference centre is themed Trade and Regional Integration: Implications for AfCFTA. The objective is to bring stakeholders in academia, public and private sector to dialogue and carve out a sustainable path for Ghana towards securing the maximum gains of AfCFTA to Ghana’s development.
The conference was attended by the Chairman of the governing board of GIMPA, the Rector of GIMPA, Deans of Faculty from some public universities, heads of private-sector unions, and students.