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The Mayor of Accra has informed of the impending declaration of Accra as the commercial capital of Africa as the continentconcludes preparations to effect the protocols of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Hon. Adjei Sowah says, “The city of Accra has deep historical roots in commerce and has always remained the major trading center in Africa. Our city is well equipped with the infrastructure, the governance framework and the markets required to provide leadership in the implementation.”
Mr. Sowah made this known on Monday in a press conference organized by the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC)at the NaaDeideOmandro Conference Hall, Accra Metropolitan Assembly premises, to announce the Fourth Ghana International Conference on Trade and Finance on the AfCFTA concept.
The Mayor said, over the years, Accra had developed the right policies and the enabling environment to represent both an investment destination and gateway to the African markets.
“We are also aware that the current administration has demonstrated tremendous leadership in accelerating the processes of AfCFTA implementation so far,” he stressed on Ghana’s commitment in the effort to entrench the free trade concept.
The Mayor of Accra informed that the forth-coming conference would focus on “those successes by demonstrating the commercial and economic resilience of our city, showcasingthat our trade liberation has brought tremendous growth to our city which makes it an excellent model for many other African cities.”
Hon. Sowah observed that with the hosting of the permanent secretariat of the AfCFTAin Accra, the city of Accra shall have far greater role to play in the successful outcome of the continental trade, and shall be required to provide leadership in investment, commerce, social cohesion and solidarity, social equity and environmental developmentamong African cities.
In that regard, he informed that the AMA in partnership with GITFIC and Association of Ghana Industries (AGI)weremaking decisive efforts to commence the dialogue, raising awareness, and encourage all member states to take action necessary to build the logistics and infrastructure, which were critical for the successful outcome of AfCFTA.
“Through the medium of this conference, we also hope to alert corporate Ghana in particular and Africa in general about the networking and investment opportunities the AfCFTA would create in Africa and to empower the private sector take advantage of the opportunities.
“This new framework is expected to unleash economic growth and development on Africans given many opportunities to African citizens across the continent, and as we lift intra-African trade and migration, I am personally delighted that this trade agreement embodies sustainable development, women and children welfare, and inculcating protocols of social equity,” the mayor informed.
Hon. Sowah said the agreement offered an opportunity for Africa to confront the significant trade and economic challenges. “We have to take action now; we have to take action to dismantle the colonial economic model that we inherited,” he said.
In expressing his joy for the coming into force of the AfCFTA, the Mayor said, “We all know how the search for integration of the African economy eluded African leaders for many years; it therefore comes as a relief that finally African states have agreed on mechanisms for economic integration that ensures social, commercial solidarity among member states
He invited Corporate Ghana to support and participate in theevent, whichwould provide opportunities to learn from individual negotiators who participated in the delivery of the continental free trade agreement, and learn about the preparedness of sister African countries for the commencement of trade in January 2021.
Hon. Sowah said the conference would also educate participants on trade barriers and restrictionswhich would be lifted through the commencement of the AfCFTA, market opportunities it could bring to businesses “in an enhanced African supply chain,” and build network with economic actors from sister African countries.
The conference would be held on the 27 and 28th of October,and announce Accra as the commercial capital of Africa.
Other sponsors of the conference are the Ghana Canada Chamber of Commerce, the Free Zones Board, Agricultural Development Bank, Japan Motors, TT Brothers, Volta Aluminum Company Limited, among others.