Government is engaging the European Union (EU) and other major economic and trade partners across the world to consider Ghana as an investment destination to access the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Special Advisor on AfCFTA at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Anthony Nyame Baafi, has said.
According to him, Ghana remains the best venue on the African continent to invest due to opportunities provided by the political and economic stability enjoyed in the country.
“We are encouraging investors to choose Ghana as their first investment destination to take advantage of AfCFTA because of our strong democratic credentials and good enabling infrastructure such as energy, roads, sea ports, airports and telecom,” he said during a webinar programme organised by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce on the topic “The UK-West Africa Trade Opportunities in a COVID-19 Era”.
Ghana currently hosts the secretariat of the AFCFTA in Accra, something Mr. Baafi believes adds to the credentials of the country as a gateway to access the continental market.
He observed that the country has, so far, presented workable proposals to major economic blocs to establish their factories in the country to connect to other African markets at a cheaper cost.
Mr. Nyame Baafi stated that major trade partners and economic blocs across the world are optimistic that AfCFTA provides a quick opportunity of connecting with 1.3 billion people across 55 countries on the African continent with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion.
This advantage, he stressed, must be harnessed by Ghana to create jobs for the youth to reduce poverty in the country.
“I think all foreign and Ghanaian investors should focus their trade and investment engagements with Ghana as the gateway to Africa to boost their companies by creating a win-win partnerships in Africa,” he said.
Explaining the connection of AfCFTA to other major trade treaties signed by Ghana, Mr. Nyame Baafi stated that investors can access the ECOWAS duty-free and quota free market access by member states.
He said the benefits are strong enough to encourage more investors to establish multinational companies in Ghana to reach the entire sub-Saharan region.
“The good thing about all these is that the AfCFTA is gradually going to open 90 percent general goods which will include 7 percent sensitive goods and 3 percent exclusive goods of State Parties of AfCFTA in 13 years by ECOWAS members,” he stated.
World Bank facts about AfCFTA
According to the World Bank, the AfCFTA presents a major opportunity for African countries to bring 30 million people out of extreme poverty and to raise the incomes of 68 million others who live on less than $5.50 per day.
It further projects that with the implementation of AfCFTA, trade facilitation measures that cut red tape and simplify customs procedures is expected to drive US$292 billion of the US$450 billion in potential income gains.
In addition, the World Bank says implementing AfCFTA would help usher in the kinds of deep reforms necessary to enhance long-term growth in African countries.