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MPs welcome Ghana's choice to host AfCFTA secretariat

BY: Musah Yahaya
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh — New Patriotic Party MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament
Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh — New Patriotic Party MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament

Members of Parliament (MPs) have welcomed the choice of Ghana by the African Union (AU) to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

They said Ghana had the capacity and democratic credentials to champion the agreement and ensure the attainment of its objectives and goals.

The legislators lauded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for leading Ghana's bid to be selected to host the AfCFTA.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, set the tone for the discussion when he read a statement on "A New Dawn in Africa: Continental Africa Free Trade Area Agreement" in Parliament yesterday.

Last Thursday, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU selected Ghana as the host country for the secretariat of the AfCFTA.

The AfCFTA is a trade agreement among 49 AU member states with the goal of creating a single market, followed by the free movement of people and a single-currency union. The AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on March 21, 2018.

Africa's development

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In his statement, Mr Annoh-Dompreh said the drive to Africa’s development remained bedded on its unity being advocated for by many politicians, scholars, organisations and individuals on the continent.

Mr Annoh-Dompreh said contemporary Africa today largely depended on the AU to ensure a successful integration of the countries on the continent.

He said the AfCFTA was important as it "aims at ensuring the creation of a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments."

Mr Annoh-Dompreh said Ghana had yet again proven to be a beacon for a positive African revolution, following the acceptance of the nation’s bid to host the secretariat of the AfCFTA.

Mr Annoh-Dompreh said the AfCFTA, which had been under discussion for quite some time, had continued to stir up interests and had increased in importance exponentially as more and more stakeholders were realising the value and potential it held.

Free movement

He said free movement of persons; promotion of goods and services, accessibility to a wider range of entrepreneurial support in the form of funding and logistics were all important ingredients for the development many wished to see in Africa.

AfCFTA secretariat

For his part, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bia West, Mr Augustine Tawiah, said the development of Africa was hinged on the unity of Africans, saying that "United we stand, divided we fall."

He said if African countries continued to live in silos, they would continue to be disadvantaged by economics of scale.

In his contribution, the NPP MP for Assin South, Mr John Ntim Fordjour, said the AfCFTA was an important continental arrangement that could promote trade and accelerate development on the continent.