Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry says the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) requires national coordination between actors at all levels.
He said it would also require the translation of the strong political will demonstrated by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in support of the AfCFTA into concrete actions by officials at all levels including Public Organizations, Private Sectors Associations, Civil Society Organizations, and the Media.
Mr Kyerematen was speaking at the inauguration of 36 Council Members of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) in a speech read for him by Mr K. Nyame-Baafi, the Technical Advisor to the Minister in Accra, on Wednesday.
Justice Sophia Bernasko Essah, an Appeal Court Judge, administered the Oath of Office and secrecy to members of the Council.
The Council Members will provide the needed support and guidance, through their technical expertise and wealth of social capital, to the activities of the Chamber.
The Minister believed that the private sector would spearhead the economic transformation of the country by taking full advantage of the African Single Continental Market.
He said, without doubt, AfCFTA could be considered as the game-changer for the post-COVID economic recovery and transformation of Ghana, “if we as a country can harness the numerous benefits of the AfCFTA.”
He said the AfCFTA would boost Ghanaian exports, stimulate investments and innovation, foster structural transformation, improve food security, enhance economic growth, and export diversification, and above all, provide fresh impetus and dynamism to the economic integration of Ghana into the African market.
“There are many benefits that Ghana will derive from effective implementation of the AfCFTA, including better harmonisation and coordination of trade between Ghana and other African countries,” he added.
Mr Kyerematen said to harness the benefits of AfCFTA, the government complemented the ongoing Industrial Transformation Agenda by launching the National Export Development Strategy in 2020 to increase non-traditional export revenue to US$25.3 billion by 2029.
He said the Strategy prioritises interventions under the following three key pillars of expanding and diversifying the supply base for value-added exports and services by improving the business regulatory environment for exports, expanding human capital for industrial export development and marketing.
“In addition, the government has developed a National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Implementation Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT),” he said.
The Minister said the objectives of the policy framework were to consolidate and grow existing markets on the continent and to identify new markets for Ghanaian Goods and services on the continent.
It is also to identify and promote new products with export potential for the African Market and stimulation of greater demand for Ghanaian products and services on the continent.
He said the strategy would provide timely and accurate information on market trends for Ghanaian businesses and support the development of innovative financial products for intra continental trade and intensive pursuit of value addition for Ghanaian goods.
Mr Clement Osei-Amoako, the President of GNCCI said at the 44th Annual General Meeting of the Chamber held on 21st October 2020, all the standing committees and council were dissolved and new national officers elected to champion the activities of the Chamber to greater heights.
He said in line with the constitution of the Chamber and the Legislative Instrument (L. I. 611), a new Council had been duly constituted to govern and support the activities of the Chamber.
The Council comprises President, two Vice-Presidents, the National Treasurer, One representative selected by each regional Chamber for every 40 fully paid-up members or part thereof in such regional Chamber.
The President said the Chamber would continue to empower the business community through its cutting-edge programmes and activities aimed at equipping the private sector to develop the needed shock absorbers and tenacity amid the ravaging pandemic.
He said the Chamber was excited that the journey to opening up new market access opportunities to drive the needed economic growth and transformation of the African continent had begun.
Dr Douglas Akuamoah Boateng, Chairman of CCT Group, who spoke on behalf of the Council, expressed gratitude to the leadership of the Chamber for their nomination and inauguration.
He assured the Chamber of their readiness to help solve challenges in the sector.