President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) can increase intra-African trade by US$35billion yearly.
Describing AfCFTA as a game changer, he believes AfCFTA can reduce external imports by US$10 billion every year.
Speaking at the 7th African Leadership Forum in Accra on Thursday, May 25, 2023, President Akufo-Addo said the reduction in imports will pave the way for small businesses to thrive.
This will also lift many Africans from poverty as several jobs would be created for them.
“The AfCFTA is undeniably the major game changer…it can increase intra-African trade by US$35billion and reduce external imports by US$10 billion yearly. This will mean more opportunities for growth for our small businesses and the potential to lift some 30 million people from extreme poverty,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He further said, “We must move away from being main producers and export more agricultural products and add value to our agriculture.”
Touching on infrastructural deficit, President Akufo-Addo said Africa needs between $US130 and US$170billion annually to bridge this gap.
The AfCFTA is one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063. It is a high ambition trade agreement with a comprehensive scope that includes critical areas of Africa’s economy such as digital trade and investment protection, amongst other areas.
By eliminating barriers to trade in Africa, the objective of the AfCFTA is to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, particularly trade in value-added production and trade across all sectors of Africa’s economy.