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Ghana To Leverage on AFCFTA To Become Regional Hub In Tourism and Hospitality Sector– Ken Ofori-Atta

Ghana To Leverage on AFCFTA To Become Regional Hub In Tourism and Hospitality Sector– Ken Ofori-Atta

The Finance Minister-designate, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta has projected Ghana to become a tourism and hospitality hub. He noted that aside the establishment of the National Development Bank (NDB) which would support the hospitality industry by making funds available to the sector for development; the nation would also leverage on the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) Secretariat established in Ghana to project the country as a tourism and hospitality hub.

Mr. Ofori-Atta was responding to questions put to him by the Techiman North MP, Madam Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare at the ongoing vetting of the former by Parliament’s Appointment Committee.

But I think what is also going to be an intervention as I mentioned earlier in the morning is the establishment of our National Development Bank which will be a warehouse bank which can then channel resources to specific banks that allocate resources to these areas that need sustenance. So the banking structure, the financial structure; we are structuring it with the entry of the NDB and be able to push areas such as that… And thirdly, once the development bank is operational, that gives access to more capital to support them. Mr. Chairman, as the AfCFTA is located in Ghana, I think it gives us a mandate for investment, tourism opportunities so that we become a regional hub”, Mr. Ofori-Atta said.

According to him, Government    lately was doing much to support the industry, especially with tax reliefs and rescue packages.

In our 2020 rescue package we had a two (2) billion Guarantee Facility to support our various industries especially the hospitality area. So yes, there was a 2 billion Guarantee Facility in 2020, and this year also; we have put in place some tax reliefs to be able to support them further.  In this [year’s] budget you realise that there is a tacit tabulative for tourism, hospitality and other companies for that sort”, the Minister designate stressed.

Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on August 17, 2020 while  handing over the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat in Accra, noted that increasing Africa’s trade was the surest way to deepen regional integration on the continent.

We are now the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization, and we must make it count. A market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $3 trillion offers a huge opportunity to exploit the abundant wealth and resources of our great continent for the benefit of all our people,” President Akuffo-Addo then intimated. 

In January 2021, Ghana freighted its first consignments of goods under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), spearheaded by two local companies.

The companies, Kasapreko Company Limited (a local manufacturer of alcoholic beverages) and Ghanadour Cosmetics Limited exported their products by air and sea freights to other African countries. Officials of the two companies were excited, as they saw prospects of expanding their export markets on the continent.

The AfCFTA Secretariat was established with a core mandate to implement the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is perceived by the World Economic Forum as the largest trade bloc by its member countries since the World Trade Organization.

Under the agreement, member countries of the African Union (AU) agree to eliminate tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers for a free flow of goods and services between them. It is envisaged that, when all 54 AU member countries implement the Agreement, it would create the largest global trade bloc, with a market of 1.3 billion customers and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of about 3.3 trillion.

 

 

Source: Yvette Appiah  (Journalist, Real Estate Times Africa)

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