Ghana needs export diversification to reap benefits of AfCFTA – World Bank

Afcfta Boss
Afcfta Boss

A new World Bank report launched here Thursday said export diversification would help Ghana reap the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The new report, titled “Ghana Trade Competitiveness Diagnostic-Strengthening Ghana’s Trade Competitiveness in the Context of AfCFTA,” said the West African country could strengthen its trade competitiveness in global value chains using manufacturing as a catalyst.

Daniel Kwabena Boakye, an economist at the World Bank and co-author of the report, said that despite Ghana’s good performance in exports, the items exported were limited to just a few areas, especially in the extractive sector.

Boakye said one way Ghana could diversify its export basket to leverage the benefits of the continental free trade agreement for economic transformation was through manufacturing.

“Ghana is currently underperforming in most of the chosen markets due to the decline in manufacturing. But we need manufacturing to boost Ghana’s performance in the global marketplace, and also under AfCFTA, and so this must be revamped to perform its lead role in export,” he said, suggesting that Ghana should also strengthen the service sector to complement the role of manufacturing in deepening the country’s export competitiveness.

Priscilla Twumasi Baffour, a senior lecturer of Economics at the University of Ghana, said that the government must introduce deliberate policies to create an enabling environment for the expansion of the manufacturing sector while urging the government to take steps to address the existing challenges the report identified in the manufacturing sector.

“Ghana’s export basket is too lean and dependent on just a few items. So we need a comprehensive policy framework of transformation so that industrialization and economic transformation do not happen by chance but through our efforts to create jobs for the youth and eradicate poverty,” added Baffour.

Herbert Krapa, the deputy minister of Trade and Industries, in an interview lauded the World Bank for the comprehensive documentation of the necessary tools to boost Ghana’s export competitiveness.

“Our responsibility is to create the enabling environment and introduce the necessary policies and interventions to ensure that Ghana’s transformation agenda is achieved,” Krapa said. Enditem

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