The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mark Badu Aboagye, has asked businesses to take advantage of the postponement of the implementation of Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement to prepare adequately towards its execution next year.
The AfCFTA Secretariat rescheduled the implementation from this month to the first quarter of 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with Citi Business News, Mr. Badu Aboagye said the postponement offers an opportunity for businesses to prepare more for the takeoff.
“The closure of the borders by all the countries in Africa has affected movement of people from one country to another even if you have the goods and the services to sell. So, I think it is just appropriate that we have rescheduled the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement to early next year. This has also given us the opportunity as business people to prepare very well to be able to produce and meet the standards required to sell within the Africa Continental Free Trade Area. As a Chamber, we have been assisting our members and providing them with the required business support services to be able to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area greement. So, I will encourage all businesses not to wait, but take advantage of the six-month opportunity given to businesses to prepare adequately”.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as of 2018 includes 28 countries.
It seeks to establish a single market for goods and services across 54 countries, allow the free movement of business travelers and investments, and create a continental customs union to streamline trade – and attract long-term investment.
With a combined market of over 1.2 billion people (which is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2050) and a GDP of $2.5 trillion, AfCFTA could potentially make Africa the largest free trade area in the world since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
Ofosu-Dorte urges African businesses to adopt ‘AfCFTA strategy’ post COVID-19
A Senior Partner at AB & David, and a member of the Afrochampions Initiative, David Ofosu-Dorte, earlier this year, also stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has offered a favourable opportunity for African countries to re-strategize.
He urged businesses across the African continent to adopt an African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) strategy post COVID-19.
According to him, the way businesses prepare for AfCFTA, would determine how much they would benefit from the initiative and help boost the continent’s economic growth agenda.