Support African Continental Free Trade Area – Dep. Minister to African countries

Mr Michael Okyere Baafi Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry

Fri, 29 Apr 2022 Source: atinkaonline.com

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi, has urged Pharmaceutical Companies in African Countries to encourage their leaders to support and ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area and as well take advantage of it.

He said this at the West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Seminar and conference held in Accra on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

The conference which is expected to end on April 29, 2022, brought together manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers and distributors of the medical diagnostic pharmaceutical industry, hospitals and influential decision-makers in the West African region and in Ghana.

A number of them exhibited their services and products, networked, and as all deliberated on ways to address challenges in the pharmaceutical industry.

The event was organized by WegVoraus, India under the auspices of the Ministry of Health Ghana and the Indian High Commission in Ghana.

On the other side, the African Continental Free Trade Area (Afcfta) aims at accelerating intra-African trade and boosting Africa’s trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa’s common voice and policy space in global trade negotiations.

As of 5 February 2021, 36 countries had deposited their instruments of ratification. So far, 36 countries have ratified the AfCFTA agreement.

Speaking at the West Africa Pharma and Healthcare Seminar and conference, Mr Michael Okyere Baafi who advised African leaders and businessmen to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area said it will help broaden the horizon of their businesses.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area is an opportunity for Africans to do our business and get our own money and spend it here in Africa and not that it will always go outside. That is why I believe it is a very good opportunity for pharmaceutical manufacturers in Africa to encourage their leaders to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area so that we can do business amongst ourselves because you are doing a duty-free, quota-free business and it will help us grow as Africans,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the government is putting in place measures through the Obaatampa Programme to support pharmaceutical manufacturers meet the WHO’s standards of Best pharmaceuticals manufacturing companies so that in the future, they can also qualify for international procurement.

“The WHO has a standard for procurement and so not every manufacturing company can trade with WHO unless you meet their standards. In Ghana, we do not have that manufacturing practices and it is worrying. However, the government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry is trying to select some of the companies to push them to meet those standards so that they can take part in international procurement. The government is also trying to provide them with technical assistance so that they can dominate in the pharmaceutical manufacturing business,” he said.

Source: atinkaonline.com
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