Management and Staff at the Head Office of the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA) in Accra were sensitized on the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
The 18thOrdinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012 adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area to accelerate the economic integration of the Continent and also boost Intra-African trade.
Negotiations on the agreement began in June, 2015 and the first phase of the agreement was completed in March, 2018. 54 member states have signed the agreement and Twenty-two (22) member states including Ghana have ratified and submitted their instruments of ratification.
A presentation made by the Team Leader of the Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr. Anthony Nyame –Baafi showed that the agreement will create a single continental market for goods and services. It will also enhance exportation of large scale production.
He also indicated that the Agreement will boost agricultural and industrial exports by seven and five percent respectively. The trade agreement is expected to increase African trade by up to US$35 billion per year.
Mr. Nyame-Baafi stated that government has put measures in place to enable Ghana enjoy the benefits of the Intra-African Trade. According to him, customs is embarking on management reforms to enhance trade facilitation and transit trade facilitation with the landlocked countries. There is also electronic trade information system that will enable exporters get to their potential customers. He said the African Export and Import Bank in Egypt will develop three banking instruments to support transactions between exporters and importers in Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GSA, Ms. Benonita Bismarck acknowledged the significance of the new agreement and underscored the need to sensitize the staff of the GSA as well as the trade, shipping and logistics community.