Third World Network Africa (TWN-Africa), a Pan-African research and advocacy organization, has charged the government to focus on developing a strong negotiation position, in order to benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
This comes a day after Ghana was selected as host country for the secretariat at the 12th African Union Extraordinary Summit held in Niamey, Niger.
Speaking to Citi Business News about the implications of hosting the secretariat, Coordinator of the Third World Network Africa, Dr. Yao Graham said, Ghana risks being known only as the host for the secretariat if it fails to develop a position that benefits local businesses ahead of the full implementation of the AfCFTA.
“If we are going to benefit from the AfCFTA, it will take a lot of work, a lot of consultation, a lot of research and so on and so forth. Having the secretariat does not take away the need to do those things. Otherwise, the country could very well simply end up hosting the secretariat of an agreement, which other countries have better prepared themselves to benefit from rather than the country hosting the secretariat.”
Dr. Yao Graham further argued that having won the bid to host the secretariat, it becomes even more imperative that we take seriously the challenge posed by the liberalization of the AfCFTA and prepare to benefit from it or to protect ourselves against the challenges the agreement presents.
Meanwhile, Ghana has committed $10 million for the setting up of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Ghana beat off competition from Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal at the 12thAfrican Union Extraordinary Summit in Niamey, Niger last week.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
Privilege to host Secretariat
President Akufo-Addo says it is a privilege for Ghana to host the Secretariat adding that Ghana is ready to donate $10 million dollars to the African Union to support the operationalization of the Secretariat.