Ghana won the bid to host the Secretariat of Africa’s Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) on the 7th of July 2019 in Niamey, Niger, during the 12th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government. Great commendation goes to the Ghana Team and all those who worked behind the scenes diplomatically to ensure this outcome for Ghana. However, beyond the Secretariat, the benefits of the AfCFTA are neither automatic nor ‘decreed’ even as potentially, they can be numerous for many Ghanaians.
There is much more work to be done in terms of i) what products that will pass as African products (rules of origin in trade language) so as to prevent non-African products from flooding the Ghanaian and the larger African market under the guise of AfCFTA and ii) which sectors in Ghana that need protection in the medium to long term, from products from other African countries (sensitive and exclusion list). These issues are fundamental for value creation within Ghana’s economy and are yet to be finalized in the AfCFTA negotiations. Just like the Secretariat, these issues, equally, if not more, demand the attention of Ghanaians.