By Gifty Amofa, GNA
Accra, June 24, GNA - The Africa Centre for International Trade and Development (ACINTaD) has called for the sensitisation of Ghanaians on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Mr Isaac Hubert Arthur, the Executive Director, said businesses in Ghana as well as citizens did not know much about the continental free trade agreement, the opportunities and challenges it posed to them.
He said Government must educate and popularize the Agreement in the country so that more businesses, including SMEs would have knowledge about the continental free trade area.
Mr Arthur made these known during a three-day capacity building workshop in Accra for women entrepreneurs, organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC), a joint UN and WTO organisation based in Geneva, in partnership with ACINTaD, under the ‘SheTrades in the Commonwealth’ Initiative.
It was held under the theme “Preparing for the Export Market”.
He said the workshop was held for the second time in 2019 to give more women entrepreneurs the opportunity to do on-site registration onto the ‘SheTrades’ in the Commonwealth platform and also build their capacities in international trade.
Participants also shared their experiences and frustrations in understanding trade agreements such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), ECOWAS Protocols, AfCFTA, and other trade policies.
The Executive Director, who made a presentation on trade policies and agreements such as the AGOA, AfCFTA, and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), said to take full advantage of the export market and become competitive, businesses must also understand trade agreements and explore the opportunities available to them.
“Trade agreements have implications for businesses and even the lives of the people. Trade policies matter to everyone, the buyer, seller, farmer, business, youth, women, etc. That is why effective stakeholders’ engagement is required prior to signing and ratifying such agreements,” he said.
Ms Shari Hammond, National Coordinator of ITC SheTrades-Ghana, said the ‘SheTrades’ in the Commonwealth’ project is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and it is aimed at increasing economic growth and job creation in Commonwealth countries by enabling the increased participation of women-owned businesses in international trade.
She also added that the project will end by March 2020 and efforts are being made to encourage more women-owned businesses to register on the SheTrades online platform and benefit from the project.
Mr Meghan Mccormick, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of OZE, advised entrepreneurs to be critical in keeping accounts of their incomes and expenses in order to be able to access trade financing.
The workshop was attended by about 150 women entrepreneurs, made up of representatives of business support organisations, women-owned businesses and private sector companies engaged in shea, textiles and apparel, as well as information technology & business process outsourcing sectors.