By Rachel Kakraba
Lead-Research Fellow (Policy and Advocate), Ghana International Trade & Finance Conference (GITFiC), Gerald Ekow Woode, says African Regional integration in the operationalization of the African Continental free Trade Area, offers the Continent the platform for open discussion, on limitation to export competitiveness which is worsened by the small size of its economic systems, geographical location and transport costs.
He further identifies that Regional integration also encourages the spread of technical innovation and allows nations to compete on the global market with more sophisticated economies.
He said increased and deeper integration will improve food security and encourage the growth of international production chains and value addition in Africa.
Making reference to his research work, “Africa’s regional integration under the AfCFTA , the economic impact,” Mr. Woode, noted the coming into effect of AfCFTA, offers African nations an opportunity to resolve significant limitation to export competitiveness imposed by the small size of their global economies, as well as function as a vehicle for growth and development.
This, he added will not only improve intra-African commerce, but improve Africa’s competitiveness in the global market.
Mr. Woode, said establishing an effective institutional governance framework, to solve economic challenges facing the Continent, and income disparities remains paramount.
He advocated more specialized studies on the Continent for more diversification of economies and closer economic integration, which will guide policy initiatives to extend the region’s economic foundation.
Making recommendations based on his research findings, Mr. Woode, called for increased stakeholder participation for policy harmonization and coordination.
He added that countries must go beyond the traditional preoccupation with state sovereignty towards the adoption of more collective approaches for the attainment of economic growth and development in assessing integrated development.
Mr. Woode observed that the realization of the economic growth and development of Africa must be a central objective to all African countries.
This, according to him, will continue to bind the region and serve as a catalyst to identifying innovative ways to better integrate the region’s economies to withstand the 21st century global economic storms.