Only two Ghanaian companies—Kasapreko and Gandoon—have so far exported products to other African Countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
10 more companies have also expressed interest to do so in the days ahead. While industry watchers describe the pace as not encouraging, other signatory African countries are yet to make any move at all.
Chief Executive of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), Mark Aboagye Budu is of the view that most African countries are not ready to trade under the agreement.
The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement kicked in on the First of January 2021. Under this continental pact, African countries are expected to trade 90 percent of their goods among each other tariff free over a ten-year period.
Tariff removal, according to experts, will reduce cost of trade and increase revenue. For the agreement to be effectual, signatory countries are to present instruments indicating which goods they are ready to export and import.
As things stand now, not many signatory countries have taken this action. The reason being Kasapreko and Gandoo Textiles faced some hitches in their attempt to take advantage of the agreement.
Even though ten more companies have expressed an interest in taking advantage of the world’s largest trade agreement, Chief Executive of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Mark Badu Aboagye thinks there is more room for improvement.
The Private Enterprise Federation is therefore arming its members with the how’s and what’s of AfCFTA.
According to the federation’s Chief Executive, Nana Osei Bonsu, education is needed at this point.
In the short term, experts say the benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement will benefit countries that engage in manufacturing and with the necessary ports and harbor infrastructure.
They argue that the success of the agreement is not hinged on the removal of non- tariff barriers.
Story by Mabel Adorkor Annang.