The Ghana International Trade and Finance (GITFiC) has launched a handbook to actualise the dreams of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and keep it afloat.
The book; ‘Actualising the African Economic Vision; A practical handbook on the AfCFTA’ was launched at the Pacific Alliance Embassy in Accra, event which received high patronage.
It would serve as the guideline for African leaders, the academia, trade and finance community and all other patrons of the AfCFTA worldwide.
In his welcome address, Mr. Selasi Koffi Ackom, Chief Executive Officer of GITFiC, said it took a great deal of work with several consultations, in-depth analysis, and references to come out with the final product.
“This journey began for us when we took the 3rd conference to the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, in 2019, and succeeded in getting a number of stakeholders from the four corners of the continent to the 3rd conference, including; Finance Ministers, UNECA, Trade & Development Bank in Kenya. ECOWAS Bank in Lome, Afrexim Bank in Egypt, Trade Ministers, Finance and Trade Experts, Agric, Aviation et al,” he stated.
He said in 2020, they brought chief trade negotiators, deans of premier universities and senior media men and women from Africa back to Accra to advance the conversation on the AfCFTA, when Accra was officially declared the commercial capital.
“Rightly so because Accra hosts the AfCFTA secretariat and has a rich history of both colonial and present, cross border trade emergence and also as the first country in Africa, south of the Sahara to gain independence,” he added.
He said in 2021, they brought monetary and financial magnets from Central Banks in Africa to major stakeholders to discuss the Pan African Payment and Settlement System and its regulatory antecedents, where President Akufo-Addo gave the keynote address through Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia.
He said it was revealed in sections of the survey report that literature on the AfCFTA were missing, and despite the gross interest in the subject matter by the public, almost nothing concrete was there to read, more so, in a simplified form.
Mr. Ackom said the book was inspired by all heads of state on the African continent, and the advent of the AfCFTA had received substantial interest and set forth a renewed sense of optimism and conviction that seeks to propel Africa into the league of global trade powerhouse.
“The book has diagrams, info-graphics and photos to spice reading and give a pictorial meaning to the context and content, and is currently in two languages; English and French,” he said.
He said plans were afoot to translate it into Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese in the coming weeks.
He commended Ambassador Albert Muchanga, Mr. Nyame-Baafi, Mr. Bernard Afreh, Mr. Tsornam Akpeloo and several other chief trade negotiators who contributed to the practical book in diverse ways.
Over 6,000 copies of the book which has a street cover price of GH¢100 were sold at the launch.