Barclays Bank Ghana, part of the Absa Group, has declared its intentions to organise the first Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) conference in 2020 under the auspices of the Office of the President.
This was announced by the Managing Director of Barclays Bank, Mrs. Abena Osei-Poku at the opening session of the 8th Ghana Economic Forum (GEF), which was lead-sponsored by Barclays Bank and held in Accra on October 30, 2019.
According to the Bank, the Absa AFCFTA conference is in response to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s call for Ghanaians to support the AFCFTA to harness the opportunities that intra-Africa trade provide for economic growth and transformation.
“We admire the President’s show of leadership by taking a firm decision to host the Africa Continental Free Trade secretariat in Ghana. In response to His Excellency’s call for support, we have committed to hold an annual Absa AFCFTA conference in conjunction with the secretariat and the Office of the President,” Mrs. Osei-Poku told the GEF audience.
“We have officially made our intentions known to the Presidency and we look forward to the maiden edition in 2020,” she added.
The AFCFTA conference, she noted, will contribute to positioning Ghanaian businesses appropriately to benefit from the continent’s free trade agreement.
According to her, Absa has deep insights and understanding of the African continent and “we intend to use these expertise to drive and stimulate the right engagements between governments and the private sector.”
Mrs. Osei-Poku indicated that the President’s commitment towards the establishment of an integrated African market that ensures smooth flow of goods, services and capital across the continent to stimulate economic growth and development, is a great legacy for Ghana and Africa.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a trade agreement among African Union member states. It has the potential to become the world’s largest free trade agreement among countries, and when fully implemented can lead Africa beyond aid to become an economic force in the world.