A nationwide consultation with the Ghanaian private sector to access their readiness for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation has begun in Accra.
The consultation is focusing on six sectors of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) members who are in agri-business, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and herbal, garment, textile and leather, plastics and hardware as well as hospitality and tourism industry sectors.
“The stakeholder consultation with the private sector is very important as it would help in assessing their knowledge and understanding of AfCFTA, rules of origin, capacity to produce and export to other African countries as well as identifying the challenges that would impede their ability to take full advantage of the AfCFTA,” said Appiah Kusi Adomako, the Country Director for CUTS.
Mr. Adomako added that the ability of Ghana to take full advantage of the AfCFTA agreement depends largely on the readiness of the Ghanaian industry. Whilst a company can be ready at the firm level, there is also the need for our macroeconomic variables to be ready. For example firm in Ghana which borrows on the average of 28% per annum cannot compete with firms in South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius that borrow on an average of 7 percent per annum.
The consultation forms part of a study assessing the readiness of the Ghanaian private sector for AfCFTA implementation. The study is being undertaken by a research and advocacy policy think called CUTS with support from the BUSAC Fund.
BUSAC Fund is a donor pooled fund to support private sector advocacy and it is supported by the DANIDA and the USAID.
It is expected that the study will produce a diagnostic report which will help to develop practical steps in addressing the gaps and challenges identified by the private sector with regards to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).