The dream of a continent beyond aid
For a while now, the leadership of Ghana has been advocating for Africa/Ghana beyond aid, and to attain this objective, President Akufo Addo believes that the advent of the AfCFTA already presents a better trajectory for African nations and Ghana in particular. That notwithstanding, President Akufo Addo has clearly defined how engaged his government is as far has putting policies in place that will favour trade and investment in the west African nation, making good use of the existing continental free trade area. Remember good government policies has a lot to do with investments. So even if AfCFTA is put in place and governments do not compromise its policies to favour trade and investment, it would still be a bone of contention. Like his other counterparts, Ghanaian strongman Nana Akufo Addo has always advocated for regional integration, African common market place that would see Africa beyond air.
President Akufo Addo recently bemoaned the fact ‘’the African people live in poverty and misery in the midst of plenty, reiterating that ‘’we remain poor in spite of our rich endowment of natural resources’. Thus the AfCFTA will give countries the opportunity to exploit their natural resources as competition will be high among member nations. As clearly stated by Ghanaian minister of trade and industries some time ago, the realization of the African continental free trade area would be a great milestone for the continent towards the creation of a lone market and the upliftment of the economic status quo of the continent.
As per statistics, 54 out of 55 African nations have already signed the trade agreement. The latest signature by Nigeria, one of Africa’s giant economies, during an extraordinary summit of AU heads of state and governments in Niger gave more impetus to the continental free trade.(Nigeria is very renowned when it comes to doing business, and many people feel that with its expertise, it would be a major boost to AfCFTA). As at now 25 African Union member countries have completed the ratification phase of the deal. If fully implemented, AfCTFA would represent a market place of 1.2 billion people, with a total gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion. Movement of goods, services and persons from one African nation to another would be at large, hence promoting intra African trade. Like President Akufo Addo of Ghana would put it, regional integration and unity would greatly contribute to the success of the continental free trade. Unity is strength. However, with the recent developments on the continent, some critics have expressed fear that it is already posing as an impediment to AfCFTA.
The recent row between two giant economic powers on the continent is already a call for concern. There is much tension between the Republic of South Africa and the Federal republic of Nigeria, after acts of cruelty were meted on Nigerians based in South Africa, acts that the world has termed as xenophobic. There was equally tension between Rwanda and Uganda, though President Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni recently inked a peace deal to end the border feuds. From a critical perspective, the minute disputes between nations is either directly or indirectly affecting the operational phase of the African continental free trade area. It is therefore imperative for AU member states to address border issues which stand as obstacles to the dream free trade in Africa.
Article from AFRIC Editorial
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