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Business News of Friday, 23 July 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Why AfCFTA will not succeed - GUTA explains

• AfCFTA has been operational since January 1, 2021

• According to GUTA, AfCFTA will be unsuccessful if not properly evaluated

• He made this known at a press conference in Accra


Since the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January this year, it has been fraught with some challenges. Key among these stumbling blocks is the global pandemic, coronavirus.

Though the AfCFTA Secretariat is trying its best to make this a dream come true, the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) believes the initiative will not flourish as expected.

According to the President of the Association, Dr Joseph Obeng, data on the Free Trade Area is scanty hence, depriving traders of knowing the advantages of AfCFTA.

Dr Obeng, addressing the press during the week intimated that AfCFTA will only be successful if African countries solely trade in goods manufactured in their country of origin to prevent dumping.

He opined that when this is adhered to, the move will industrialize the African continent.

"Continental Free Trade Area will not succeed… it can never succeed until we have made conscious efforts to industrialize Africa to make sure that we patronize the goods and services that are being patronized in the continent. That is the driving force of the Continental Free Trade Area," he said.

"It’s about time that the Continental Free Trade Area let the citizens of Africa know the dos and don’ts. If they are multi-dumping, they should let us know so that if a country has gotten its law discourages dumping, then everybody understands that it is never in contradiction with the rules and engagement that is set by the Continental Free Trade," he added.

As part of the trade facilitation process, the AfCFTA Secretariat signed an agreement with African Shipping Council to help the Secretariat to achieve its objectives.

AfCFTA Secretary-General, Wamkele Mene, said AfcFTA has the potential to increase intra-African trade by 22 percent of total trade by 2023 following this agreement.

AfCFTA has a potential market of 1.3 billion people with a total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3.4 trillion.

Secretary-General of the Free Trade Area urged African governments to sensitize their citizens, especially private businesses on the impact of AfCFTA on their businesses.