Michael Kottoh
Michael Kottoh, Managing Partner at advisory firm Konfidants
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My Ghana, Your Ghana - This is how AfCFTA countries can exclude certain products from trade

The Managing Partner at advisory firm Konfidants, Michael Kottoh has said countries participating in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) had the option to exclude certain products from trade within the continent.

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He explained that the signing of the initiative gave countries the flexibility to phase out the implementation process.

“That flexibility is for countries to decide that, well these product categories are sensitive to our national revenue earnings, employment and therefore if we phase down the tariffs, and open up access to those sectors instantly, and we are not prepared, we think that there will be some shocks that we might not be able to adjust to”, he stated.

Mr Kottoh was speaking on Graphic Online’s TV show “My Ghana, Your Ghana” aired on Friday, May 31, 2024 on the topic, “Should Africa Day still be celebrated?”.

Watch video of the interview below

According to him, all 55 countries in the initiative had a common target, with the goal of having 90 per cent of all traded products under zero tariffs over a period of time.

“There are certain common targets that all countries have to agree on but the agreement also provides for some flexibility for countries. The objective is that 90% of all the products that are traded in the continent will be traded under, eventually zero tariffs over a period of time. The other 10%, countries have some flexibility to decide that some products are so sensitive that they want to exclude those completely”, he added.

Mr Kottoh who is also the Head of Research and Strategy at AfroChampions, stressed that, countries could designate another category of sensitive products for phased implementation over time. 

He emphasized that, there was flexibility for low-income countries and middle-income countries, allowing poorer nations on the continent to gradually phase in the implementation process.

“And there is another category of products that countries can say that yes this are sensitive but we want to phase the implementation over a period of time. And there is also flexibility for low-income countries verse middle-income countries. So, the poorer countries on the continent have some flexibility to phase the implementation process”, he said.

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