The African Union (AU) has stated that effective January 1, 2021, it will usher in duty free and quota-free trade regime under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

According to the Union, the existing trade tariff among member states would be lifted.

The free trade initiative is expected to cover 1.2 billion markets in several countries associated with the union.

Speaking at the second national conference of the AfCFTA held in Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that the initiative is another historic step that would benefit all Africans.

The ECOWAS Chair said AfCFTA would not only boost Intra African Trade but would also ensure the diversity of exportation and guarantee job opportunities for the continent.

He reiterated that the challenge of food security in Africa would be a thing of the past.

“AfCFTA would stimulate innovation and investment, foster structural transformation, enhance economic growth and assist entrepreneurial dynamism of the African people,” he added.

He urged Ghanaian businesses to explore the benefits of the initiative to expand productivity, improve the value-added chain, and make Ghana a new manufacturing hub.

He stated “government is fully committed to the implementation of the AfCFTA. With the collective desire for shared prosperity, we are confident that the AfCFTA would succeed and generate a new impact on the rapid growth of Africa’s economy and deepen the integration and unity in Africa.”

Several distinguished personalities who honoured the event include Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat; the Minister OF Trade and Industry, Alan John Kyerematen; among others.