Agribusinesses urged to add value to products and take advantage of AfCFTA

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A regional conference and stakeholder engagement on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has been held to identify the peculiar comparative advantages of the Northern Region, which can be brought to bear in trying to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA.

It was organised in Tamale by the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, and attended by about 200 participants comprising enterprises, representatives of public organisations, women, and youth.

Presentations on Framework for National Implementation of AfCFTA, Comparative Advantages and Challenges for trading under AfCFTA in the Northern Region, The Role of Customs as the Competent Authority for trading under AfCFTA, as well as discussions on regional preparedness for the implementation of the AfCFTA and pathways to harnessing its benefits, and support interventions for Ghanaian entrepreneurs under AfCFTA.

Opportunities in the areas of agro-processing, shea butter processing amongst others were presented as the region’s comparative advantage.

Dr Fareed Arthur, National AfCFTA Coordinator at the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, speaking during the conference, said the National AfCFTA Coordination Office was working to create the Ghana Trade Information Repository to put together information on the comparative advantages of the country, adding “Part of the work we are doing in the regions will also feed into it.”

Dr Arthur urged all enterprises and stakeholders to participate in the AfCFTA, emphasising that they should add value to their products and take advantage of the AfCFTA to enter other markets.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister encouraged enterprises and business entities in the region to harness the potentials of agro-processing and value addition, not only for domestic consumption but also to take advantage and the opportunities provided by AfCFTA, to export to African countries duty free and quota free.

Alhaji Saibu called on the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, and other institutions to put in place the needed institutional and logistical support frameworks to ensure that “We collectively reap the full benefits from the implementation of the AfCFTA.”

By Albert Futukpor, GNA

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