Economics Expert and Lecturer at the University of Ghana Economics Department, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie has articulated that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will prevent the trafficking of drugs across Africa.
He made this statement in an interview with UniversNews in response to questions being raised on drug trafficking through the trade arrangement.
AfCFTA is an economic policy for Africans to aid free intra-trade among countries in the African region. The AfCFTA Secretariat is based in Accra, Ghana.
According to Dr. Adu, the policy will ensure that goods involved in the trading process will be examined as a measure to prevent the export of bad quality products and illegal goods such as drugs.
He added that with this trade policy, there would be no tariffs on exchange of goods. According to him, the policy will aid African countries to diversify their economies.
”Goods will still be scrutinized, there will still be inspections and standards must be kept to prevent exporting any unwholesome commodities. AfCFTA will not pave way for trafficking of drugs or illegal trade. The only difference is the tariffs taken off, but goods will still be inspected just like in Europe. It help economies countries in the African region to diversify their economies.”
Dr. Adu further explained what the policy entailed and the reason for which it was created.
He stated that the policy was created to increase trade across the continent.
“The whole idea is to promote regional trade between African countries. The trade within the continent is very low, less than 10 % and I think that the AfCFTA intends to help increase and improve trade across the region.”
On whether this policy would affect importation levels, Dr. Adu stated that the policy is intended at curbing the rate of importation by encouraging the processing of raw goods and adding value to them.
”The idea of the program is to produce heterogeneous goods not homogeneous goods to help reduce our level of importation into the African region. Growling of wheat and other continental crops will also help minimize our imports.”
As of June, 2023, 54 African member states have signed the AfCFTA agreement with the policy now holding 46 state parties. It is estimated that 30 million Africans will be lifted out of poverty thanks to the policy.
Story by | Emmanuella Adu Gyamfi | universnews.ug.edu.gh