July 10, 2019
Ghana wins bid to host AfCFTA Secretariat
African leaders attending the 12th African Union Extraordinary Summit in Niamey, Niger have selected Ghana as the host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental (AfCFTA) Free Trade Area.
Ghana beat off competition from Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal. The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
President Akufo-Addo says it was a privilege for Ghana to host the Secretariat adding that Ghana is ready to donate $10 million dollars to the African Union to support the operationalization of the Secretariat. He says an inter-Ministerial Committee has already been setup to work with the AU Commission.
The announcement was made by the Executive Council of the African Union at the ongoing AU Summit in Niamey, Niger.
The meeting ongoing in Niamey will also announce a date for trading to begin in the African Continental Free Trade Area, a deal that 52 of the continent’s 55 states have signed, although ratification has be done by only 25 countries.
The overarching goal of (AfCFTA) is to remove trade barriers and tariffs between members; enhancing intra-Africa trade on the continent.
The agreement is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services with free movement of goods, people and investments.
This is expected to eventually unite the continent’s 1.27 billion people and its $3.4 trillion nominal gross domestic product.
According to the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa, the agreement has the potential to boost intra-Africa trade by 53%.