Ghanaian Businesses have been urged to expand their operations through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for accelerated economic growth.
Speaking at the 31st and 32nd President’s National Awards for Exports Achievements in Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said the AfCFTA presented enormous opportunities for Ghanaian businesses, which ought to be explored to make them globally competitive.
“It is a real-time game changer”, he stated, adding: “And once fully realised, we can potentially increase on an annual basis and according to the Economic Commission for Africa, intra-African trade increased by some USD35 billion and reduced external imports by some USD10 billion.”
The event, jointly organised by the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA), recognised the contributions of exporters and the non-traditional sector to economic growth and prosperity.
About 20 exporters were honoured with plagues and citations for producing quality products and breaking new ground in their operations.
The government, President Akufo-Addo indicated, was committed to supporting the GEPA and the GFZA to strategically position themselves to sustain the development and growth of the country’s non-traditional sector.
“We also assure you that your governing laws are being reviewed to position you better to facilitate, develop and promote Ghana’s non-traditional exports,” the President said.
Expatiating on the economic benefits and prospects of the sector, President Akufo-Addo said small businesses have performed better over the years.
“Without a doubt, your businesses have contributed significantly to the growth of the Ghanaian economy — the creation of jobs has had positive effects on the balance of payment,” he stated.
Despite the global economic downturn and its impact on the economy, President Akufo-Addo said local businesses demonstrated resilience.
He said a lot of Ghanaian businesses had been hit hard, “some to the extent of folding up business operations.”
The last three years, President Akufo-Addo confessed, had been challenging and the government had also been doing its best to ensure a reverse of the country’s fortunes.
By dint of hard work, he said, all the macro indicators—the rate of inflation, exchange rate stability and economic growth rate — are pointing in the right direction.
The CEO of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, speaking on the theme: “Recognising Excellence: Driving Sustainable Exports to Accelerate Ghana’s Prosperity” assured that GEPA was committed to nurturing a culture of excellence within the export community.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD