•Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen has been lauded for his role in Ghana’s bid to host the AfCFTA secretariat
• Yaw Osafo-Maafo said the minister has been instrumental in drafting, lobbying and authoring documents to advocate for the cause
• Ghana-West Africa is currently the host secretariat for the AfCFTA
Senior Advisor to President Akufo-Addo, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has lauded the Minster of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, for playing a vital role in Ghana’s successful bid to host the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Osafo-Maafo, speaking at the 2021 Ghana Industrial Summit in Accra, pointed out that Alan Kyerematen was key among those who drafted and authored a document to advocate for the establishment of the organisation and subsequently initiated the processes that led to Ghana’s choice as host secretariat.
“Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen was one of the first people in the 1990s to put up a paper for the establishment of a body to supervise African continental trade. He was also the Minister for Trade and Industry during the period that a location for the headquarters of AfCFTA was being determined, and he made sure that Ghana had it,” he said.
The president’s Senior Advisor on the other hand commended the trade minister for his excellent diplomatic skills from garnering support from other countries and assisting Ghana to lobby for the votes from other parts of the continent to win the bid for the establishment of the organisation which oversees the implementation of an intra-African free trade pact.
The AfCFTA agreement is expected to see a much-reduced tariff regime that will enable traders, exporters, and small and medium enterprises to transit their goods and products efficiently.
The Intra-African trade pact will see to it that 90 percent of all goods that are traded will enjoy a tariff-free regime for all countries that have signed agreements and deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification.
So far, some 55 African countries are participating in the single trade market pact, making it the largest number of member countries participating in any trade deal since the formation of the World Trade Organization, covering a market of more than 1.2 billion people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$3.4 trillion.
Accra-Ghana currently serves as the Secretariat of AfCFTA with its headquarters commissioned and handed over to the African Union by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in August 2020.