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Policy-space for Industrialisation – a key determinant for Africa’s development: K.T. Hammond


The Minister for Trade and Industry, K.T. Hammond, has called for policy space to facilitate Africa’s industrialisation agenda.

In a meeting with Ms. Rebecca Grynspan, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva as part of a working visit, K.T. Hammond emphasised the importance of securing requisite flexibilities in trade rules with a view to ensuring that Africa benefits fully from the multilateral trading system.

K.T. Hammond articulated the view that for Africa to fully benefit from the multilateral trading system, the Continent has to be in a position to attract a significant amount of trade-related investment that would enable it to take advantage of global value chains.

Accordingly, he underscored the importance of obtaining flexibilities in multilateral trade rules that could spur Africa’s industrialization agenda and facilitate development on the continent. The Minister was of the view that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) provides the continent with a good starting point by removing trade-related bottlenecks and ensuring that export volumes and values are increased on the continent.

With reference to the recent Ministerial Conference of the WTO held in Abu Dhabi in February 2024, K.T. Hammond underscored the importance of working together to build trust among members and achieve consensus on key issues such as agriculture, which could facilitate value-addition and ramp up exports in Africa.

In her remarks, Ms. Grysnpan, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, also shared the view that the global-south had to be supported to fully integrate into the multilateral trading system through capacity building initiatives such as those provided by UNCTAD.

She emphasised the need to work together to achieve multilateral agreements that support the development of all, of course, with special and differential treatment being accorded to the most vulnerable. 

She further called for a complementarity of measures, such as equitable financial regulations and investment regimes, to support global trade rules and deliver development for all.

In his closing remarks, K.T. Hammond emphasised the fact that the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, had clearly articulated a transition from the “Guggisberg-raw material based” economy to one of value addition and had gone further to ensure the advancement of Ghana’s industrialization agenda with the 1D1F programme and the establishment of strategic anchor industries among many others.

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