Provost of the University of Ghana College of Education, Professor Samuel Nii Ardey Codjoe, has called on African leaders to make the most of the opportunities given by AFCFTA to improve the current economic situation on the continent.
Speaking at the launch of the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference of the School of Continuing and Distance Education on the theme “Positioning the African Market for Sustainable Economic Development through AfCFTA, Professor Codjoe called on African leaders to make good use of the abounding opportunities of the trade.
He says the launch of the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference of the School of Continuing and Distance Education is a timely opportunity for African businesses to trade among themselves.
“While this is a challenge, it presents an opportunity for the continent through the African Continental Free Trade Area to take advantage of the situation and do business together. It is in this light I consider the theme for the 74 annual new year’s Conference which is “positioning the African market for sustainable economic development through AfCFTA to be very timely”.
Prof. Samuel Codjoe however reiterated the impact of the Russian-Ukraine war and COVID-19 on Africa’s economy. The post-pandemic effect, the world was hit with another catastrophe which is the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Analysts argue that this, coupled with COVID-19, has inevitably put the world on its knees. Advanced and developing economies are struggling and Ghana is no exception. Access to essential commodities such as cooking oil, rice, and wheat has become extremely difficult and the cost is also prohibitive.
This, together with exchange rate depreciation has made imports very expensive which threatens to undo the gains made in the fight. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a blueprint for attaining inclusive and sustainable development across the continent over the next 50 years. It aims to boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights, and competition policy.
The Agreement entered into force on 30 May 2019 for the 24 countries that had deposited their instruments of ratification with the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson – the designated depositary for this purpose. As of May 2022, 43 countries have both signed and deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification with the AUC Chairperson. Of the 55 AU member states, only Eritrea has yet to join.