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GITFiC calls for sustained awareness creation of the benefits of AfCFTA

The Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has called for sustained sensitization of the Ghanaian public and the business community of the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

It said with intra-African trade still very low, at less than 20 per cent, the advent of the AfCFTA was regarded as a springboard to position in the league of global trade powerhouses.

The GITFiC made the call at a press briefing on its 29-page survey report titled: “Assessing the AfCFTA Among the Business Community in Ghana,” which was undertaken within a period of 12 weeks from February to April 2022.

The survey was to collect and assess views of the business community regarding the framework of the AfCFTA, and the designation of Accra as the “commercial capital of Africa.”

Making a presentation on the Report, Mr Gideon Adjandeh, the Economic Researcher and Policy Advocate at GITFiC said a total of 4,800 questionnaires were administered to business enterprises in six sampled regions of Ghana namely; Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Northern, Volta and Western Regions.

“A non-disguised questionnaire containing close-ended and open-ended questions was developed to elicit the perspectives of respondents” he stated, and that the responses were ranked on a blend of the Likert scale and semantic differential scale.

Mr Adjandeh said the survey adopted a qualitative approach, adding that, “a multi-stage sampling approach was used in the collection of data, with a high sense of ethical consideration and a total of 2,572 questionnaires was used for the analysis.”

The study found that 34 per cent of respondents have not heard about the AfCFTA, and the majority of respondents (18.86 per cent) gained information about it from the radio and television while a high rate of 66.5 per cent of respondents indicated that the implementation of the AfCFTA would have a beneficial effect on their businesses.

Mr Adjandeh said over 90 per cent of respondents stated that the sensitization of the AfCFTA would be relevant to ensure that Ghana harnesses the optimal benefits under the preferences presented by the continental liberalized market.

“It is hoped that the findings of this field survey would serve as veritable reference for policy makers and key players in the AfCFTA ecosystem,” he stated.

Mr Selasi Koffi Ackom, the Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC said: “We at the GITFiC strongly believe that, through sustained help we can jointly change the narrative on low sensitization and spark the interest of the business community and the public on the vast opportunity the Continental Free Trade Area bring to the African Continent.

“Our vision was to serve key stakeholders in trade and industry.”

Mr Ackom said for GITFiC to add layer to its vision as a nexus serving both private and public enterprises and entities would launch a comprehensive handbook on AfCFTA, which would contain detailed and simplified information on its framework.

It would particularly delve into key topics such as; the Rules of Origin and Trade Remedies among others as pertains in the field of international trade, he stated.

“The handbook has gone under reviews from key stakeholder institutions including the African Union under the Economic Development Department and under the auspices of His Excellency Albert M. Muchanga; Commissioner – Trade, Industry, Tourism and Mining.”

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