ACCRA, Ghana - The Greater Accra Regional branch of the Ghana Union of Traders Associations (GUTA) has applauded the actualization of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and pledged its full support for it, association head reveals.
According to the association, the full implementation of the trade agreement would aid promote local businesses on the international stage and create opportunities for them to grow.
The branch expressed its optimism that the AfCFTA and the subsequent choice of Ghana to host the secretariat of the continental body would create employment opportunities in the country.
The Chairman of the Greater Accra Regional GUTA, Mr David Amoateng, stated these in an interview with the state-own-media, Daily Graphic in Accra last Monday.
Amoateng commended the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, for the pivotal role he played in the birthing of the AfCFTA and called on local traders to support the implementation of the trade agreement.
“We welcome the AfCFTA initiative because it will help to boost local businesses and also create employment opportunities in the country, especially when the secretariat is going to be established here.
“We met the Trade minister about the AfCFTA and its impact on the retail trade and we have been assured that the coming into force of the agreement will not interfere with the laws on local retail sector. We can assure our people that foreigners will not hijack the retail sector because of the AfCFTA so they should not be worried,” he said.
CEOAfrica recall that Ghana was selected among six other countries which submitted bids to host the AfCFTA Secretariat, namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, E-Swatini and Madagascar.
In the final stages, Senegal, Ethiopia and Egypt withdrew their bids in favour of Ghana.
The operational phase of the secretariat involves the commencement of work by the interim team which started work on July 10, the selection and appointment of the Secretary-General and key Secretariat Executives which would take place on December 31, and the setting up of a permanent secretariat by March 2020.
Some of the critical elements of the operational phase are the adoption of rules of origin and the launching of key AfCFTA operational instruments.
The key instruments include an online platform for tariff negotiations, the establishment of an African Trade Observatory, a digital payment and settlement systems; and an online mechanism reporting and monitoring for non-tariff barriers.
Others are a mobile application for AfCFTA business activities, the MANSA repository platform to serve as a centralised database for customer due diligence and a US$1 billion AfCFTA adjustment facility to manage the adverse effects of revenue losses for selected countries.