Norvan Report, November 29, 2023
Ghana has emerged as a trailblazer in the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) developed by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, showcasing 14 companies actively engaged in 40 trades, according to Appiah Adomako, the West Africa Regional Director of CUTS International.
Notable among the companies are Kasapreko and Ghanndour Cosmetics.
Beyond Ghana’s leadership, other nations also make significant strides in the GTI landscape. Kenya boasts 27 companies with over 50 trades, while Egypt showcases 7 companies involved in 20 trades. Additionally, Mauritius, Rwanda, and Cameroon demonstrate noteworthy participation with 25, 8, and 4 potential trades, respectively.
The GTI, characterized as a “solution-based approach” by the AfCFTA Secretariat, seeks to facilitate impactful trade by connecting businesses and products for export and import among interested state parties.
This visionary initiative allows for the initiation of trading under AfCFTA preferences, subject to meeting the minimum threshold for commercially meaningful transactions.
Ghana has solidified its commitment to the AfCFTA by actively participating in the GTI since its inauguration in October 2022. Out of 29 nations that submitted tariff offers, Ghana stands among the eight committed participants, including Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
The GTI, according to Mr Adomako, not only tests the environmental, legal, and trade policy basis for AfCFTA but also serves as a beacon, demonstrating the functionality of the AfCFTA agreement. Adding that, the participation of nations like Ghana which is the host of the AfCFTA Secretariat, sends a powerful political message, particularly to those yet to submit their tariff concessions. Moreover, the GTI instills confidence across the continent, emphasizing the achievability of trading under the AfCFTA.
Meanwhile, in a pivotal move, the AfCFTA Secretariat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MacDan Aviation – a logistics firm – which has pledged two cargo planes and one vessel for transportation of goods under the GTI.
This development underscores not only Ghana’s pivotal role but also the collective momentum propelling the AfCFTA’s GTI towards fostering enhanced intra-African trade dynamics. As the initiative gains traction, it stands as a testament to the transformative potential of pan-African collaboration in advancing economic integration.
About the Public-Private Dialogue on the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI)
The Public-Private Dialogue on the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) held by CUTS International and GIZ, is one in a series of dialogues being organized to assess complementary initiatives launched to promote the operationalization and implementation of the AfCFTA.
The dialogue sought to engage relevant stakeholders to review the GTI with the express purpose of shaping the initiative towards a full implementation of the AfCFTA.
The overall objective of the dialogue is to review the GTI in line with the success stories, the challenges involved, and the way forward as 2023 has been declared “Acceleration of AfCFTA Implementation”.
The specific objectives of the Public-Private Dialogue were to engage relevant stakeholders;
- To examine the efficiency of the legal framework of the AfCFTA instruments
- Exchange of different perspectives to identify the obstacles faced by the Ghanaian private sector as far as the GTI is concerned
- Obtain feedback on the effectiveness of the legal and institutional systems in Ghana as a participating country
- Identify possible future interventions to increase intra-African trade and maximize the benefits of the AfCFTA
- Examine the readiness of the private sector to participate in trade under the AfCFTA
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