SMEs Demand Harmonized Standards For Effective Intra-Africa Trade

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Ghanaian operators of small and medium enterprises have called for the immediate harmonization of standards of goods across the continent to ensure the smooth movement of goods and products under the AfCFTA.

“If I have FDA certification from Ghana, it should be able to permit my goods into other African markets because acquiring multiple certifications come with costs. So, this is one area that the AfCFTA will have to fast-track in the interest of cross-border trade,” Anne Ewurabena Sarfo, CEO of Anne’s Perfections, shared with Single African Market.

The young female entrepreneur and her compatriot, Rose Nunya Wetsi, Chief Executive Officer of Afro King Salon, producers of natural hair products said the issue of certification came up strongly from their participation in this year’s Intra Africa Trade Fair (IATF 2021).

“For my goods, the South African market wants to see something similar to FDA certification like we have in Ghana. So, I’ll quickly have to get that before the shops and individual buyers can accept them. That will also help my business expansion,” Ms. Wetsi indicated.

They admit the trade fair has revealed to them the need to acquire other regulatory requirements from South Africa to be able to fit in that market but with harmonized standards, it will be easier for them to expand into other markets.

According to the two female entrepreneurs, their participation in IATF 2021 was very successful and impactful to the growth of their businesses and networking.

I’ve gotten quite a number of deals that I’ll be following up on, including those that want to become distributors for my products. This fair has been a good experience that has given me the exposure not only in South Africa but other countries that were represented,” CEO of Anne’s Perfection indicated.

They expressed that the IATF has laid the foundation for successful intra-Africa trade and urged urgent action on the trade-related challenges that came up at the fair.

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