The Caretaker Minister of Trade and Industry, Samuel A. Jinapor, has called on Ghana’s private sector and Africans in general to own the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) Agenda to boost intra-Africa trade and enhance livelihoods.
He explained that, ownership of the Agenda would enable the private sector to drive AfCFTA in achieving a single market for Africa while also enabling private businesses to expand their markets, and venture into new territories which were previously inaccessible to them.
He therefore, called on all stakeholders in the sector to work with the government in the full implementation of the AfCFTA and support the realisation of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Mr Jinapor was speaking at Adukrom in the Eastern Region on January 27 during the closing of a two-day business and policy dialogue, dubbed “The Kwahu Summit on Africa’s Prosperity.”
Organised by the African Prosperity Network (APN) in collaboration with the Presidency and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the event was on the theme “AfCFTA: From Ambition to Action, Delivering Prosperity through Continental Trade.”
The two day event brought together Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, Representatives of Regional Economic Communities, Business Executives and Associates, Technocrats, Women and Young Entrepreneurs and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to dialogue and proffer actionable solutions to boost Intra-African trade and Africa’s prosperity within the context of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Through public-private and multi-sectorial engagements, the Acting Minister said, Africa could unblock the bottlenecks that hamper the full realisation of the single market agenda.
This, he noted, would require that Ministers, policymakers, government representatives, and representatives of regional economic communities, work with the private sector to develop the requisite institutional and logistical frameworks for the private sector to thrive.
Mr Jinapor, who is also the substantive Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, stated that the government places a lot of premium on the AfCFTA and it was the fulcrum around which most of Ghana’s trade policies revolve.
To this end, he said, a number of initiatives aimed at promoting the AfCFTA, including the establishment of the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, the development and implementation of a comprehensive National Policy and Action Plan for AfCFTA, and the implementation of an AfCFTA Facilitation Programme aimed at promoting local companies to produce and export to the AfCFTA market, have been undertaken.
Secretary-General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, said, it was critical that Africans pursued developments that reflect the interest of the continent and drive prosperity.
Such interest, including the AfCFTA, should be defined by actions which brings about positives changes to the lives of Africans.
He urged member countries to work together in tackling challenges that impedes development efforts.
“As Africans, we have one history. It is necessary to create the African development narrative that reflect the interest of our continent.
We should drive the narrative and define it based on actions as taken by Africans to further development.
Let us be energised to tackle the challenges of our continent,” Mr Mene added.
Dr Eugene Owusu, Director of APN urged African leaders to help build prosperity mentality to be able to exploits available resources to promote the continent’s growth.