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Ghana hands over African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat to AU Commission

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President Akufo-Addo has asked member states of the African Union to conclude all outstanding implementation issues of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), for them to be adopted at the extraordinary summit scheduled for December this year.

This will pave the way for the smooth commencement of trading from January 1, 2021.

President Akufo-Addo stated this when he inaugurated and handed over the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra to the African Union Commission.

The AU at its 12th extraordinary summit held in Niamey, niger in July last year selected Ghana to host the Secretariat of AfCFTA.

As part of the obligations and commitments under the host country agreement, Ghana is required to provide a fully furnished office complex as the headquarters of the AfCFTA Secretariat and an official residence for the Secretary-General.

The Secretariat will administer the free trade agreement creating a single market for 55 countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion and a total GDP of about $ 2.5 trillion.

So far, 54 countries have signed onto the agreement with 28 others ratifying the same. The hosting of the secretariat is expected to promote Ghana as an attractive regional and investment hub in Africa, boost economic activities, and provide job opportunities for Ghanaians.

The handing over ceremony was witnessed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the newly Secretary-General of AfCFTA, CHairman of the Council of State, former President Rawlings, among others.

President Akufo-Addo said he COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of AfCFTA. He said the disruption in the global supply chain due to the pandemic has reinforced the need for closer integration among Africans for the continent to self-sufficient.

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