General News Wed, 4 Sep 2019
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has stated that government is developing a National Programme of Action (NPA) for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).He revealed that the NPA which would be ready within the next three months will form the basis for implementation of AfCFTA as there will be timelines associated with each set of activity.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the three-day national conference in Accra on the implementation of the AfCFTA, the Minister indicated that, there was the need for an institutional mechanism to guide the planning and implementation at the national, regional and hopefully, district levels.
Alan Kyerematen also revealed that there would be a national coordinating office that would plan, direct and coordinate all the AfCFTA implementation activities in the country.
"We need to go to all regions for example, to get a sense of their own understanding of the CFTA and what the expectations they have from government to help them to be able to take advantage of this. So we will do a series of consultations around the country", he disclosed
Some recommendations made at the end of the 3day conference to boost intra-Africa were read to participants which include the need to promote maritime transport.
"For us to be effective in trade, there is the need for us to look into trade-related infrastructure. And on, trade related infrastructure, there is the need to promote maritime transport, there is the need for the reduction in the cost of air transport, the need to enhance air transport connectivity among African states and the need to enhance railway connectivity across Africa", Joseph Atta-Mensah, the Principal Policy Advisor, Macroeconomics and Governance Division of UNECA opined.
Some participants also shared their thoughts,"We have been able to harness the advantages of AfCFTA. Going forward we would sit down to see where we could play a role to make sure it plays into the advantage of the Ghanaian", the President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Dr. Joseph Obeng
"My fear is that when we fully implement this, indigenes do not be the ones to suffer a disadvantage as a result",the Exec. Secretary of the Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Sampson Asaki said.
"With this CTFA, without Africa having the needed logistics framework to support this cause, it is going to be very difficult" Nana Poku, the Greater Accra Regional Secretary.