By Joyce Boahemaa Fosu
The second of policy dialogues being organized by the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) has been held.
The event took place in two sessions from November 23-24, 2021 at the Greenhill Campus of GIMPA.
It was on the theme ‘Trade and Regional Integration: Implications for AFCFTA.’
The conference aimed at bringing together experts on trade, both in Ghana and abroad, to discuss the merits and challenges to the effective implementation of the AFCFTA.
It also sought to craft a simple outline of the agreement and to generate awareness among the general populace as to the benefits and costs of the agreement.
Another major aim was to offer a platform for experts to share practical ideas on how Ghana could partake successfully in the regional trade agreement and, to devise ways to curb the possible challenges associated with the agreement.
It was expected that the conference would also prepare SME’s to identify and embrace the opportunities relating to AFCFTA.
Lastly, the focus was to enhance policy makers in their initiation of strategies and monitoring of cross-border goods and services.
In his opening remarks, the Rector of GIMPA, Prof. Samuel Kwaku Bonsu, reviewed some of the benefits of AFCFTA:
He further stressed the readiness of academia in working with industry players and policy makers to enhance its implementation and ultimate success in Ghana and in the sub-region.
On his part, the German Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Daniel Krull expressed the timeliness and aptness of the theme saying it was great for Ghana and the continent.
He further stated that the AFCFTA was a great potential for the automobile industry. He was however, quick to point out the need for government to first mitigate the risks of corruption to enable the country attract foreign investors.
Delivering the keynote address in the first session, Hon. Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry bemoaned how Africa’s share of global trade, remained below a pitiful 3%.
According to him, the continent had become comfortable as suppliers of the very primary raw materials that fed the rest of the world.
“Surprisingly, after exporting these raw materials, Africans end up importing finished and high-end products, from these same economies, to meet our basic needs. This needs to change,’ he said.
Hon. Krapa was however, optimistic that AfCFTA provides a critical response to Africa’s development challenges and had the potential to enable Africa to significantly boost intra-Africa trade, improve economies of scale and establish an integrated market.
He indicated that the era of the AfCFTA required development practitioners to move towards accompanying the continent on this great journey of transformation, in a manner that would accelerate widespread attainment of socioeconomic progress.
‘That very much included academia, institutions of learning and our development partners. This was the time for Africa to industrialise its economies, produce goods rich in African content and create decent jobs for the African people,’ he stressed.
The keynote address of the second session was delivered online by Dr. Joseph Atta-Mensah, Principal Policy Advisor at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the same theme.
The first in the series of conferences was held on October 26th this year at the same venue.
DIRECTORATE OF CORPORATE AFFAIRS & INSTITUTIONAL ADVANCEMENT