A former Professor of Accounting and Management practices at Nottingham University, Dr Noel Tagoe, has stated that Africa has started well with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) policy, by explaining clearly the objectives of the policy are.
In an interview with JoyNews monitored by GhanaWeb, he said member countries are not coming into the trade agreement clueless, since they already have some regional integration policies such as the Economic Community of West African States to guide them.
“We started at a very good point because the law must be based on policy, so the policy states what objectives are and the laws then should bring the objectives into being so each country then will have to put in-laws that are aligned to the policy at the continental level. There are dispute resolution mechanisms that have been put in place at the continental level and that should help them to deal with it. I think Africa has had some experience in these things because we have had regional economic community such as ECOWAS and others so we are not coming into this entirely new we are coming in with some amount of experience,” he said.
He also noted that infrastructure must be made a priority by AfCFTA to be able to facilitate easy trade access and movement.
“You cannot import and export without transportation infrastructure, so for those of us at the cost we need very good ports to be able to handle these ones, so ensuring that ports work very well are important. Therefore, those who inland need other means of current freights such as rail infrastructure and road infrastructure and other things like that. We have to make sure that we have those rights. I don’t think that is the major problems in terms of thinking about what road next works we need, what it is going to do to the cost profile of our exports and imports, what kind of railed infrastructure we need, what kind of port infrastructure we need. The conceptualization of that is the easier part. The thing that must be done is to understand what the knock-on effect on the economy will be,” he added.
The AfCFTA is expected to be the beckoned of hope for Africa trades and businesses as the continent is poised to be the net exporter by 2023 for the short term.