The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) and Ghana’s selection to host the Secretariat
The Abuja Declaration of 1991 by the Authority of Heads of States of the Organisation of African Unity envisioned the establishment of an African Economic Community. One of the building blocks for the establishment of this community was the creation of a Continental Free Trade Area for Africa.
The realization of the vision of a single market did not materialise until the AU Summit of Heads of States and Government in January 2012, which formally endorsed the decision to establish an African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Since that decision was adopted, extensive preparations and negotiation have been carried out by member-states, finally culminating in the historic AU Summit decision in Kigali on March 21st, 2018, to formally conclude the first phase of negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Mr Alan Kyerematen, in briefing the House, called on Ghana to leverage the opportunity to host the AfCFTA Secretariat and become the new commercial capital of Africa, a regional trade hub and economic epic-center, as well as a new gateway to the continent.
He said hosting the Secretariat will promote Ghana as an attractive investment destination, and actively facilitate foreign direct investments into the country.
Contributing to the statements made by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, said Ghana’s hosting of the Secretariat of the AfCFTA will create opportunities for the country to become the main trade facilitation and investment hub in Africa.
According to him, the Continental Free Trade Area, which will be the largest trading block in the world with a GDP at about US$3trillion and a population of 1.3 billion will begin the economic emancipation of the continent’s people.
Mr. Clement Kofi Humado, MP for Anlo, noted that the AfCFTA is going to be a game-changer in the sense that the existing north-south trade relations, whereby Africa trades more with Europe than within itself needs to change gradually toward trade among African nations.