Ghana has committed $10 million for the setting up of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Ghana beat off competition from Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal at the 12thAfrican Union Extraordinary Summit in Niamey, Niger last week.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
President Akufo-Addo says it is a privilege for Ghana to host the Secretariat adding that Ghana is ready to donate $10 million dollars to the African Union to support the operationalization of the Secretariat.
He says an inter-Ministerial Committee has already been set up to work with the AU Commission.
“Ghana is ready to donate US$10 million to the African Union to support the operationalisation of the Secretariat. I have set up an inter-Ministerial Committee of my government to work with the AU Commission towards this end,” Akufo-Addo said.
“I am determined to do whatever I can to guarantee the smooth take-off of the Secretariat, and help make sure that it turns out to be a world-class institution, which will become the pride and joy of all Africans….We owe it to generations unborn to ensure that the biggest trading bloc on the globe, whose outcomes will be rewarding to all, and which will assist in attaining the ‘Africa We Want’, does not falter,” he added.
While delivering Ghana’s acceptance speech at the closing session of the AU Summit, the president said that “it is a privilege that, for the first time in our nation’s history, we have the responsibility of hosting an important pan-African institution”.
With the AfCFTA now the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation, it will cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across the fifty-four (54) Member States of the African Union that have signed up to the Agreement.
“We have taken very important steps towards working with a common voice and a common purpose to exploit the abundant wealth and resources of our great continent for the benefit of all our peoples. Indeed, the ‘Africa We Want’ is achievable,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo assured his colleague Heads of State that Ghana will put all the requisite facilities at the disposal of the Secretariat so that it can run as a world-class organisation.