ACCRA, July 21 (Xinhua) — A Ghanaian international trade expert has described the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement as a catalyst for economic development on the continent.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the African and Investment Policies Ghana Francis Kofi Korankye-Sakyi said the time was ripe for Africa to establish a well-coordinated regional market, by developing the regional value chains, based on its large population.
By this, he said, the continent would have overcome the impact of the unfavorable conditions in the global market place.
“We expect that this is going to be the biggest market for Africa with about one billion consumers on the continent,” Korankye-Sakyi said.
He added that the agreement had been long overdue, lauding the African Union (AU) for coming out with it now, stressing that with the expected structures in place, the continent would make great strides, not notwithstanding the current challenges.
Through the implementation of AfCFTA, Africa expects to increase the value of its internal trade from 50 billion U.S. dollars to 70 billion dollars by 2040.
Korankye-Sakyi said the continent did not expect to have all the logistics, the financing, and the infrastructure in place, before starting implementation.
Initially scheduled for July, the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement was postponed due to COVID-19.
He said the goodwill from the countries that had already signed and ratified the agreement was the needed impetus to start the program.
The expert, therefore, urged the AU to put in motion the process of achieving the critical facilitation mechanism. Enditem