The 4th Ghana International Conference on Trade & Finance (GITFIC) on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has been rescheduled to October 27-28th 2020.
The new date follows the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Ghana.
The two-day conference which would be held at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel under the theme: “Optimising AfCFTA for Africans; the Role of Logistics Infrastructure” is being organised jointly by the GITFIC secretariat, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Metropolitan Chief Executive of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah who disclosed this on Monday at a press conference held at the AMA office said the 4th GITFIC would be used to declare Accra as the commercial capital of Africa.
He pointed out that the city of Accra was well equipped with the infrastructure, governance framework and the markets required to provide the leadership in the implementation of AfCFTA adding that Accra had developed the right policies and enabling environment to represent herself as an investment destination and gateway to African markets.
"The City of Accra has deep historical roots in commerce and has always remained a major trading centre in Africa. Our City is well equipped with the infrastructure, governance framework and the markets required to provide the leadership in AfCFTA implementation. Over the years, Accra has developed the right policies and enabling environment to represent both an investment destination and gateway to the African markets... Through this conference, we will follow up on those success stories by demonstrating the commercial and economic resilience of our city showcasing how trade liberalization brought us tremendous economic growth. This makes the City of Accra an excellent model for many other African cities, " he said.
He noted that the conference seeks to raise awareness, empower and encourage African states to take actions necessary to build the logistics and the infrastructure for the successful outcome of the AfCFTA.
He said with the hosting of the Permanent Secretariat of AfCFTA in Accra, the City of Accra would not only have a far greater role to play in the successful outcome of this Continental Free Trade Agreement but also be required to provide leadership in investments, commerce, social cohesion and solidarity among African Cities, social equity and environmental development.
He was also hopeful that the conference would provide opportunities to learn from individual negotiators who participated in the delivery of the Continental Free Trade Agreement, learn about the preparedness of sister African countries for the commencement of trade in January 2021, trade barriers and restrictions which would be lifted through the commencement of the AfCFTA and market opportunities it could create for businesses in an enhanced African supply chain as well as network with economic actors from sister African Countries.
Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, Greater Accra Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), in a speech commended the government under the leadership of the President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo for working assiduously to bring the head office of AfCFTA to Accra.
He urged companies to take advantage of the continental free trade and improve its technological infrastructure to maximise e-commerce as the whole world was using the opportunity to sell online.
Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, also stressed the need for government to harmonise all existing trade laws and take immediate steps to reduce the cost of power.
Mr Selasi Koffi Ackrom, CEO of GITFIC, promised that the conference would be educative, directive, authoritative and most importantly, expose participants to all there is to know on the African Continental Free Trade Area.
He disclosed that participating countries include Nigeria, Gambia, Sudan, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Zambia adding that the Conference would focus on the following sub-themes; physical connectivity, digital connectivity, infrastructure deficits, tariff reforms, non-tariff reforms, port harmonisation, a Single Continental Payment Harmonisation System, a Single Continental Digital Platform, a harmonized Trading Platform for member states, a Harmonised Continental Cyber Security System as well as Standardisation of Member State Trading Protocols et al.
Mr Alex Nortey, President of Canada Ghana Chamber indicated that the agreement puts into motion mutual and beneficial partnerships between Nations and Africa with regards to trade, products and services as well as other businesses.
He added that the lowering of restrictions between African countries will enable organizations to develop and style into new titles.