Ghana is not ready for next’s month implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, the Third World Network, a pan-African NGO, has said.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Program Officer at Third World Network, Sylvester Bagooro said more consultations need to be done before the agreement starts in July.
“We need to understand, what is this agreement going to do to the various sectors and this is has to with consultation. We have not been able to do that until date, there many who are not aware of the AfCFTA and so we need quality discussion.
Yes, it is good to have a free trade area but you need to make sure that you have a productive base and that is very key in terms of Africa’s Economic Integration. When you go back and look at the Abuja Treaty, the thrust of that document is production. It is our production capacity that is crucial and so if you have a tariff dismantling, that is you just remove the tariff but you don’t pay attention to the productive capacity; you don’t pay attention to the need of the small and medium enterprises within Africa, as indicated by the Association of Ghanaian Industries, who actually play a key impact on the people, then that angle is worrying,” he said
He further adds that for the agreement to benefit the country, the government must pay critical attention to the business community to take advantage of the agreement.,” he said
He further adds that for the agreement to benefit the country, the government must pay critical attention to the business community to take advantage of the agreement.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has already stated that the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area will come with some minor shocks, although it will not hurt Ghana’s economy.
23 countries including Ghana have signed unto the agreement.
This will make the region with the potential market of 1.2 billion people with a cumulative Gross Domestic Product of US$3.4 trillion.
Ghana was one of the first set of countries to get signed onto the agreement which is expected to create the biggest single market in Africa.