The African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat (AfCFTA) has called for the accelerated development of key infrastructure in areas like transportation across the continent, to fast-track trade under the AfCFTA.
The remark was made at the Ghana Trade Roadshow held here in Accra on Wednesday.
Despite decades of common market agreements within different economic blocs like the Economic Community of West African States, poor transportation continues to impede market access.
The AfCFTA Secretariat is thus admonishing African countries to emulate some of the measures that other countries on the continents are showcasing in terms of improved transport infrastructure to boost intra-African trade.
According to the Secretary-General of the Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, improving key infrastructure on the continent will go a long way toward making the AfCFTA a success.
He was speaking under the theme, ‘Supporting the Africa Trade Agenda – Ensuring the last mile’.
“It takes 12 to 15 days to move goods from Abidjan to Lagos. 37 checkpoints on the corridor. Contrast that to East Africa where the movement of goods from the ports of Mombasa to Kampala is done in three days. They’ve reduced the transit time from 15 days, 28 stems to three days and one stem.”
“This is a demonstration of what we can do as Africans when we focus our minds and ensure that’s rare committed to getting things done. That corridor is now probably one of the most efficient in Africa. So it is not about competition between corridors, but competitiveness of trade in Africa and the ease of doing business in Africa.”
Herbert Krapa, a deputy Minister for Trade and Industry highlighted the importance of Ghana to maintain a collaboration with the AfCFTA Secretariat to benefit from the continent wide pact.
“Although Africa is endowed with natural resources to manufacture nearly all 30,000 components of a vehicle, only three out of the 55; Morocco, South Africa and Egypt are vehicle manufacturers. We can no longer remain the exporters of the very raw materials whose finished products rule the global economy.”
He added, “We in Ghana will continue to take very seriously our collaborative role with the AfCFTA Secretariat. We have set up a national coordination office to spearhead the coordinated efforts of the multiple institutions needed for successful implementation.”
The Ghana Trade Roadshow was organized by Afreximbank in partnership with Oakwood Green Africa Limited, Ghana Free Zones Authority, Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the AfCFTA Secretariat.