Posted: February 10, 2020
Ghana to Become Centre of African Economic Integration – Ambassador Xingwana
|Ghana will become the centre of African economic integration when it hosts the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The Ghanaian capital city, Accra, will hold the key to facilitating integrated trading systems throughout the African continent. This was said by the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Lulu Xingwana. She was addressing businesspeople who attended the South Africa-Ghana Trade and Investment Seminar in Accra today.
The seminar was part of the Outward Trade and Investment Mission (OTIM) to Ghana and Nigeria that started in Accra today and will complete in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday. The mission is organised and funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) as part of efforts to increase trade and investment between South Africa and the two West African countries.
“We are meeting at an opportune economic time of the African continent, as efforts are gaining momentum in building a better Africa towards the vision of building the ‘Africa we want’, in pursuit of Agenda 2063. Ghana was recognised as the strategic gateway to the West African markets but very soon, it will become the seat of African economic integration as it hosts the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Accra will hold the key to facilitate integrated trading systems throughout the African continent, “said Xingwana.
She urged businesspeople from Ghana and South Africa to make use of the seminar to identify and seize opportunities that will be made possible by the AfCFTA.
“The continental free trade area is presenting unprecedented opportunities for development in Africa. You as investors should seize the opportunities, which will be brought by the total population of 1.2 billion people, a combined $2.5 trillion consumer market and an estimated $3 trillion GDP from the continent. We are also encouraged by willingness of the African private sector institutions in partnership with the African Union to fund various cross-border investments projects and value-chains,” added Xingwana.
Xingwana also described the trade and investment mission as vital to the industrialisation agenda aimed at the betterment and transformation of the two countries’ respective economies and that of the rest of the African continent.
“It is through such trade and investment seminars that both countries develop relationships that will result in trade and investment transactions that will develop into balanced trade and improve foreign direct investments by both countries. The South African business delegation will be at ease to know that South African businesses have invested over $1 billion in the local economy, Ghana is open for business, and it is an epicentre of trading in Africa,” emphasised Xingwana
The seminar was followed by business-to-business meetings where the South African businesspeople were able to interact with their Ghanaian counterparts with the aim of identifying opportunities for possible partnerships and joint-ventures that they could explore. Tomorrow the South African delegation will conduct site visits to various Ghanaian companies, institutions and organisations that are critical to doing business in Ghana, as well as those that could provide opportunities for SA companies. The delegation will proceed to Nigeria on Wednesday for the second leg of the mission.