In order to fully participate in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association has asked the government to help them begin production of made-in-Ghana vehicle parts.
“We can take advantage of it by starting with the production of items that are made with plastic or rubber. We can start something like manufacturing suspension rubbers, windscreen and wipers. But before we can even venture into that industry, we need support from the government,” said the Co-Chairman of the Association, Clement Boateng.
Since the commencement of the agreement on January 1, 2021, businesses in Ghana, both small and big, have been charged to be proactive in taking steps to participate and benefit fully from the agreement.
Mr. Boateng, believes the local production of vehicle parts will help reduce the importation of these parts from foreign countries and create more revenue for the industry and the country as a whole.
Speaking to Citi Business News, he noted, “This AfCFTA concept is something which is supposed to be within the Africa continent. For instance, it’s not allowed to bring a third party product from Europe to Ghana and ship to Nigeria or Togo to sell. You are supposed to trade within the goods that are manufactured within the African continent and I think it’s a good opportunity for the spare parts industry.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an agreement among 54 African countries with an estimated potential of lifting 30 million Africans out of extreme poverty, boost Africa’s income by US$450 billion by 2035 and also increase Africa’s exports by US$560 billion.
It is the largest international market in the world in terms of the number of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
The agreement initially requires members to remove 90 percent tariffs from goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.
Already, the African Union has transferred all functions related to the AfCFTA from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Accra, Ghana.
According to the Secretary-General of AfCFTA, Wamkele Mene, the decision positions Ghana as a gateway to trade and investment in Africa.
Also, the Ghana Revenue Authority is set to ramp up the issuance of certificates of origin to exporting firms in the country as part of several measures put in place by government to ensure that local businesses enjoy the benefits of the continent-wide agreement.