President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his administration is on the path of fulfilling many of the promises made to the Ghanaians in the run up to the 2016 elections.
Addressing members of the Ghanaian community resident in France on Monday, July 8, 2019 as part of his official visit to that country, he indicated that in the last two and a half years in office, his government had fulfilled a considerable number of the promises made.
“We are 2 and a half years into a 4-year mandate, and what I continue to insist and tell the people of Ghana is that, by the end of my mandate, they will see that I came to tell them the truth about what I wanted to do. I didn’t come to deceive anybody,” the President said.
He continued: “I know that my opponents will be saying something else, but that is their right. God willing, on the 7th December 2020, the day of accountability, we will know who is telling the truth”.
President Akufo-Addo made these comments on the back of the announcement made by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union that Ghana has been chosen as host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Describing the AfCFTA as “one of the most important things that the AU has done”, the President explained that Ghanaians who have been resident in France for some time can appreciate the significance of what was achieved at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit, held in Niamey, the capital of Niger, on Sunday, 7th July, 2019.
“Maybe some of the grey beards can remember 30 years ago, at the beginning of the common market, what France was like, and what it is like today… there is no doubt about the massive impact that the European Union has had on the lives of European people, in terms of increasing their economic circumstances, and we believe that the African Continental Free Trade Area is going to do the same for us,” he explained.
Nana Akufo-Addo was confident that the AfCFTA will “give us the opportunity to bring the 1.2 billion people on our continent into active play in developing our continent. We have to find a way of developing our continent ourselves. We can’t continue to depend on foreigners to develop our continent for us.”
The AfCFTA, he noted, will increase considerably intra-African trade, create millions of jobs for African youths, and help the continent develop its enterprises.
The siting of the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana, according to President Akufo-Addo, is a great opportunity for the country, especially as Ghana has been at the centre of pan-African matters.
“It is going to mean that all the ancillary activities of AfCFTA are going to be Accra- and Ghana-centered. It is also a recognition of the contribution we have made to the struggle of pan-Africanism, and for the decolonization of the continent,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo also paid tribute to the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, who first moved the motion for the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area in 2011.
“Every country should have its goals and policies that it follows successfully, leader after leader. When the national goals are set, all of us who come to occupy the seat of office should then be obliged to follow it,” the President noted.
Meanwhile, the Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) has pledged its commitment to work with the government and the Ghanaian business community to drive their investment partners in the country ahead of the official implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The Chairman of Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), Mr Bako Ambianda, disclosed this in a phone interview with Today.
He said that the call by the President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Pan-African institutions to support the establishment of the secretariat was a laudable call which ATIGS was well positioned to heed to in helping the African Union realise its vision.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a trade agreement which is in force between 27 African Union member states, with the goal of creating a single market followed by free movement and an African single-currency union. The AfCFTA was signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March, 2018.
The core mandate of the secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
Mr Bako revealed that the AfCFTA was now the world’s largest free trade area which will cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across the fifty-four (54) member states of the African Union that have signed up to the Agreement.
“ATIGS is excited with this development and is ready to facilitate trade partnerships between its chain of international investors and local successful business men to upscale and be able to meet the high market demands this new venture is supposed to bring” he stated.
The Country Representative of ATIGS Ghana and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tiwala Group, Mr Wisdom King Adukpo, also revealed plans by ATIGS to host ATIGS Ghana Advantage Seminar in September to, among other things, discuss how ATIGS Group can drive Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and International Trade in Ghana and also set the ball rolling on ATIGS investment plans in Ghana
“As the CEO of one of the emerging brands in Ghana, we have always set out to see how we can expand our market and grow our economy, we have seen the challenges local start-ups encounter in Ghana, hence our efforts in bringing ATIGS to Ghana,” Mr Adukpo revealed.