AfCFTA: More efforts needed to drive private sector participation – Ahomka-Lindsay

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By: Norvisi Eyiram Mawunyegah.

April 23rd  2021

A Former deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay stated if private sector businesses are not edged to get involved more, Ghanaian business would lose greatly in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghanaian businesses will gain little from the continent-wide agreement.

According to him, no matter how established the AfCFTA objectives are, they will remain shifty if businesses in the country are unable to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the agreement.

Speaking at the first private sector working group meeting organized by the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF), Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay charged PEF and other stakeholders to assist businesses to identify the potential impact of the AfCFTA on their businesses and strategically position them to fully participate in this immense continental business opportunity.

“It is important for us to make sure that we provide the framework but at the end of the day, you need a private-sector representation to be the one pushing so that all that is done meets your requirements. We need to move the discussion from these lofty, nice things to the real details. How do I export cocoa butter, for instance? That is the level of discussion we must have at the association level guided by PEF and everybody else. Because Ghanaians are very good at trading, but we don’t have what it takes to have a very good formal trading. That is the path that we need to develop,” he said.

The African Continental Free Trade Area which commenced on January 1, 2021, is also expected to double Africa’s manufacturing output to US$1 trillion while creating 14 million jobs by 2025.