As the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement comes into force, it is imperative that government helps develop local production capacity, the President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi has said.
This will position Ghanaian industries to fully leverage the opportunities created by the agreement but otherwise, Ghana runs the risk of being marginalized.
The call was made at the launch of the 8th AGI Ghana Industry and Quality Awards 2019, in Accra on Friday, which has the theme “Positioning Ghanaian Industries for Global Competitiveness”.
Dr. Gyamfi said, “in addition to competitiveness, there is the need to empower local businesses through government procurement, based on local content arrangements in all strategic sectors of the economy.
“Such arrangements where contracts and procurements are executed by local business under local content policies will be very laudable,” he added.
The AfCFTA will amongst other benefits enable countries that are signatory to the agreement access a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of 2.5 trillion dollars.
This will significantly boost intra-African trade from 12 percent of total trade currently done by African counties, which is very low as compared to intra-EU trade, intra-Asian Trade and intra- North American trade which stand at 68 percent, 53 percent and 46 percent of member countries total trade respectively.
A successful implementation of the AfCFTA would increase intra-African Trade by as much as US$35 billion per year, or 52 percent above the baseline by 2022.
Consequently, imports from outside the continent could decrease by US$ 10 billion per year, whereas Agricultural and Industrial exports would increase by US$ 4 billion (7 percent) and US$ 21 billion (5 percent) above the baseline respectively.
The Association expects that government will help chart a competitive path for Industry in Ghana to build a stronger economy for jobs and shared prosperity.
Dr. Gyamfi said, “this is possible if we prioritize our policy interventions and stimulus support for Industry within the overarching framework of Government’s Industrial Transformation Agenda.”