Entrepreneurs urged to establish AfCFTA desks

Ho, Nov. 18, GNA - Mr Wallace Akondor, former Commissioner of Customs, has called on entrepreneurs to establish African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) desks in their establishments.

"Get Human Resource personnel sitting right at your Management and Board tables, briefing you on AfCFTA and helping you to determine your production, dreams and working moments and how you are factoring AfCFTA into the way you are doing your business."

Mr Akondor making a presentation on AfCFTA during a roundtable breakfast discussion with Foreign Envoys on the AfCFTA and Volta Investments as part of activities to mark the ongoing Fifth Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho, said AfCFTA was no longer theoretical but a reality.

The Fair is on the theme: “Promoting Sustainable Trade and Investment” and will focus on agribusiness, tourism and ICT."

He said entrepreneurs must be engaged actively into not just the discussion but formulation into their productions.
Mr Akondor said entrepreneurs needed to engage the government to ensure that cheap capital was sourced and provided to enhance retooling of their industries.

He said an advantage of the AfCFTA was that it created a huge market which led to production expansion and reducing bottlenecks and barriers on trade.

Mr Akondor said despite the advantage, it also meant that there would be grounds for competition which would demand efficiency from businesses for them to be able to ensure sustainability.

He said there was a need for public servants in the Volta Region and throughout the country to exhibit a positive attitude towards the implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr Akondor said they must act as implementers, friends to industries towards the smooth implementation of the programme.

He however noted that although ECOWAS countries had appended their signatures to all the "beautiful protocols" including; free movement of persons, they were not being practised.

He said the reality of fulfilling dreams of AfCFTA may remain unfulfilled if business operators continued to face delays and unsatisfactory processes across borders of African countries.

Mr Akondor noted that some businesses preferred the little profit they made instead of taking risks and challenged them to take the risk and reap the benefits of AfCFTA.

Reverend Isaac Adza Tettey, Volta Regional Economic Planning Officer, presenting the investment potentials of the Volta Region, said the region was viable and good for investment since almost everything found nationwide could be found in the region.

He said the region had about 70 percent of agricultural lands that needed to be tapped into while enumerating some agribusinesses that were being undertaken in the region.

Mr Eliphas Barine, Kenyan High Commissioner to Ghana, noted that the objective of AfCFTA was to host intra African trade through creating a single market and tariffs of goods among member countries.

He said business operations must move beyond Volta, Ghana, ECOWAS and to continental level adding that no one could speak about the African continent except its own people.

Mr Barine noted that the African continent could have a single airline operator or a bank that would be supported and invested into which would be able to serve the continent and enable it to compete with others.
Rev Tettey noted that all the 18 Municipal and Districts in the region produced rice, most viable for cassava, pineapples among others.

Dr Prince Kofi Kludjeson, Executive Chairman of the Volta Development Forum (VDF), noted that internet connectivity, unavailability of enough automated teller machines (ATMs) and places of convenience were affecting tourism growth in Africa.

He also advocated equity laws that would enable young people in Ghana to own 30 percent of businesses they established.

The Dean of Volta Municipal and District Chief Executives, Mr Flolu Etornam James, said there was much hope when it came to the development of the Volta Region.