The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a landmark initiative aimed at promoting economic integration and development across the African continent. Spearheaded by Alan Kyeremanten, the AfCFTA seeks to remove trade barriers and foster intra-African trade, ultimately freeing Africa from its economic shackles with the West. This article explores the origins of AfCFTA, its objectives, and the role played by Alan Kyeremanten in bringing this dream of economic emancipation to reality.
Origins of AfCFTA:
The idea of an African free trade area has long been a vision of African leaders and intellectuals, dating back to the era of decolonization. The concept gained momentum during the 1980s and 1990s when regional economic communities were established across Africa. These communities aimed to promote economic cooperation and integration among neighboring countries.
However, it was not until the 2012 African Union Summit that the decision to establish a continent-wide free trade area was made. The African Union Commission, under the leadership of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, initiated a study on the potential benefits and challenges of establishing such a zone. The study highlighted the immense potential for economic growth and development that could be unlocked through increased intra-African trade.
Alan Kyeremanten’s Role:
Alan Kyeremanten, a Ghanaian politician and economist, played a pivotal role in transforming the vision of an African free trade area into a concrete reality. As Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry, he championed the cause of regional integration and actively engaged with other African leaders to garner support for AfCFTA.
Kyeremanten’s efforts culminated in the signing of the AfCFTA agreement on March 21, 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda. The agreement was a significant milestone, as it brought together 44 African countries, representing over 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion. This marked the largest free trade area in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
Objectives of AfCFTA:
The primary objective of AfCFTA is to create a single market for goods and services within Africa, with the aim of boosting intra-African trade and enhancing economic growth. By eliminating tariffs on 90% of goods traded between member states, AfCFTA seeks to promote industrialization, diversification, and competitiveness among African nations.
Furthermore, AfCFTA aims to facilitate the movement of people, capital, and technology across borders, fostering innovation and knowledge-sharing within the continent. It also seeks to address non-tariff barriers, such as excessive bureaucracy and cumbersome customs procedures, which have hindered trade flows in the past.
Headquarters in Accra, Ghana:
Accra, the capital city of Ghana, was chosen as the headquarters for AfCFTA. This decision reflects Ghana’s commitment to regional integration and its strategic location as a gateway to West Africa. The establishment of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Accra further solidifies Ghana’s position as a key player in driving Africa’s economic transformation.
Alan Kyeremanten’s instrumental role in bringing AfCFTA to fruition cannot be overstated. His vision for Africa’s economic emancipation has materialized through this ambitious initiative that seeks to break free from economic shackles with the West. AfCFTA holds immense potential for transforming Africa’s economic landscape by promoting intra-African trade, fostering industrialization, and enhancing regional integration.
The Battle Still Remains The Lord’s 🙏
Alan 4 2 4