The African Union has said it is using the next ten years as the transition period to deal with obstacles hampering trade along the African borders.
This period also allows businesses in Africa to engage among themselves to have a better understanding of the Continental free trade agreement.
This came up during the National Conference on the Implementation of the CFTA in Accra. After signing and ratifying the deal, the African Union Commission anticipates there will be challenges among businesses that need to be dealt with before the full potential of a single market will be achieved.
Deputy Commissioner of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey said “We are slowly trying to disentangle all the obstacles, for instance moving cargo along the borders is not easy as it is in the western world, the difference is that they have removed all the obstacles along free movement of goods and people; this is what we will be working on.
We will also use the time to prepare the productive capacity of the citizens on the continent "he said.
Ambassador Quartey spoke to JoyBusiness after addressing the first conference on the implementation of the continental free trade agreement.
On his part, head of Policy at the Economic Commission of Africa, Joseph Atta Mensah charged the government to ensure a sound microeconomic environment for the private sector to benefit from the agreement.
“We need to get the macroeconomics right and build our infrastructure because we cannot do business without infrastructure"
Joseph Atta Mensah added “In the context of the recent designation of Ghana by the African Union Summit as the host of the AfCFTA Secretariat this dialogue addresses the question of how Ghana can design and implement effective strategies and policies that will support the promotion of rapid inclusive economic growth by boosting competitiveness and job creation under the AfCFTA”
The operational phase of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was launched in Niamey, Niger on 7th July 2019 at the African Union's Extraordinary Summit, with a transition period up to 1 July 2020 when trading will begin under the deal.
Ghana was selected as the country to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), making it responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.
The country has committed to donating $10 million for the operationalisation of the AfCFTA secretariat.
Ghana was among the first group of countries to ratify the agreement on 10 May 2018, following the 21 March 2018 signature of the Agreement in Kigali, Rwanda by 44 AU member states.
The Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 after ratification by the required 22 AU member states.
The theme for the three-day conference organized by the ministry of trade and industry, African Union and its stakeholders is ‘harnessing the benefits of the CFTA for a Ghana beyond aid.’
Business Associations at the conference called for collaborative efforts by governments to reduce the cost of doing business among member countries.