Continental Free Trade program is game-changer for Africa’s economic transformation – Akufo-Addo

President Akufo-Addo interacting with President Paul Kagame
President Akufo-Addo interacting with President Paul Kagame

Implementation of the vision of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would be the game-changer in the economic transformation of the continent, Ghanaian president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said here on Thursday.

Opening the African Caucus meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Akufo-Addo urged African countries to maximize the benefits of internal trade to achieve the continent’s development aspirations.

“The AfCFTA is a potential game-changer with regards to moving Africa to a situation beyond aid. A large part of the growth and prosperity that we seek on the continent will come from our trading more among ourselves,” he said.

He urged the continent to raise intra-regional trade from some 16 percent currently, to 60 percent as on other continents.

The African caucus of the World Bank / IMF comprising ministers for finance and governors of central banks of all African countries was formed in 1963 to look out for Africa’s interests within the Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank and IMF).

“It is self-evident that the future economy of Africa cannot be the raw material producing and exporting economy of the past

“It should be one of value-addition and industrial activities if we are to create prosperity and generate jobs for our peoples. Our economies have to be anchored on the things we produce so that we can trade at the highest end of the global value chain,” Akufo-Addo said.

The two-day meeting brought together African governors of the World Bank and IMF- mainly finance and economic planning ministers as well as governors of central banks across the continent.

The meeting opened on the theme: “Africa Beyond Aid-Enhancing Institutional Capacity and Innovative Financing for Sustainable Growth.”

Activities at the meeting will include dialogues between the African governors and the World Bank and the IMF about the prospects of Africa’s economic transformation.

Authorities of the continental body African Union (AU) have selected Ghana to host the AfCFTA secretariat. Enditem

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