Mr. Augustine B. Kidisil, a lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law, has urged Ghanaian businesses to prepare themselves to embrace competition from other businesses as the continent prepares itself to take full advantage of the benefits of joining the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Speaking at a virtual forum on AfCFTA organised by the Ghanaian Community Awareness Forum on Friday, 26th August, 2022, Mr. Kidisil urged Ghanaian businesses and industry leaders to actively take part in consultative discussions to successfully establish the country’s presence in the AfCFTA.
“As a country hosting the AfCFTA secretariat, gaining a number of companies to export to other countries would help serve as the building blocks for our industrialisation efforts in building up Ghana’s presence in the AfCFTA. For Ghanaian businesses to effectively benefit from the establishment of AfCFTA, they must be ready for competition from varied international markets”, he said.
Mr. Kidisil encouraged businesses looking to leverage the benefits of AfCFTA to develop a change mindset and scale-up on their business to adequately deal with the competition when the market opens up and develop an export-oriented mindset by adding value to their products and services.
“As a business looking to leverage from the AfCFTA it is important to have a growth mindset to enable you to scale up your business and open up to partnering with other businesses in your industry across the continent. The other part of the growth mindset is developing an export-oriented mindset to better serve the wider market being presented to your business by the AfCFTA.”
The forum was themed “Implementation of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Opportunities for Business and Benefits to Ghana and African Economies” and had a main goal to increase the interest and participation of various businesses and organisations in building the AfCFTA, while securing Ghana and Africa’s economy.
Mr. Kidisil, said although AfCFTA would come along with great benefits for various economies on the African continent, it should be noted that there would be winners and losers in the fight for competition on the market space due to it being widely open to other businesses outside the country, therefore Ghanaian businesses must be ready and well positioned to reap the benefits associated with AfCFTA.
He admonished captains of industries to strategize and leverage the intra-Africa trade platform that the agreement provides and also take cognisance of the size of the emerging market provided by AfCFTA.
“The AfCFTA would boost intra-African trade, because there would be an induction of tariffs, making it cheaper to import products from other African countries than countries outside the continent. This would give SMEs in the country the required springboard to grow and expand their market”, he said
In his closing remarks, he encouraged businesses to embrace a growth mindset and prepare an adequate strategy to tap into the benefits associated with AfCFTA saying this can successfully be achieved when businesses undertake extensive research into the varied markets in Africa and ways they could better serve those markets to reap the necessary benefits.
The Ghanaian Community Awareness Forum is an outreach and engagement platform aimed at providing community-wide education and information dissemination initiative programmes for the Ghanaian diaspora community and beyond.