Ensure Ghana Benefit From Hosting AFCFTA -Minority Leader

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By Patrick Biddah

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has employed the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanteng, to do well to improve the trade terms for Ghana , rather than Africa in the coming to force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement  (AFCFTA) which was formerly launched on July 7,this year at the African Union  (AU) summit in Niamey in Niger .

He said, Ghana cannot thwart itself of becoming the host for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement(AFCFTA) Secretariat, when there is no clear plan to make Ghana improve its terms of trade with other African countries and the rest of the  world.

According to the Minority leader, who is also the Member of Parliament for Tamale South ,countries that are not known to be producers  of Cocoa, are benefitting more than Ghana, that is a producer of the commodity which is one of the reasons Ghana must do something to reverse this trend.

The Minority Leader, who  was contributing to a statement made by the Minister for Trade and Industry on the selection of Ghana as the host country  yesterday, entreated the Trade Minister and his colleague the Finance Minister , Ken Ofori Atta, to do well to protect and enhance the benefits of Ghana in the hosting of the AFCFTA  Secretariat.

According to Mr Iddrisu, the claims of adding value to the abundant natural resources of Africa, should not be rhetoric, but effort must be seen to be  put in place to realise  the actual value addition as contained in the expected benefits .

Ghana, was selected among six countries which submitted bids to host the Secretariat in Rwanda.

It follows the official endorsement for the decision to establish the AFCFTA at the 18th annual summit of the Heads of States and Government of African Union held in January 2012.

So far, 54 out of 55 African countries, have signed the AFCFTA with 27 countries, having already ratified the Agreement.

The Trade Minister, Alan Kyeremanteng  in his Statement, however, gave the assurance that Ghana was already developing a strategic anchor industries initiative in order to harness the full benefits for hosting the Secretariat.

He noted that the Customs management reforms which includes the  single window platform and the implementation of the World Trade Center facilitation Agreement are some of other agendas the country is implementing to further harness the benefits.

Mr Ofori Atta, who was in the House to contribute, indicated that an amount of  $3billion of gross domestic product  (GDP)  is expected to be realised from the hosting of the Secretariat in a single market trading bloc covering the African continent of a total population of 1.2 billion.

He expressed the confidence that the hosting will surely help Ghana have an urge over other countries in the continental free trade area.

 

 

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