The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, has launched this year’s Economic Development in Africa Report with the theme, Made in Africa; Rules of Origin for Enhanced Intra-African Trade.
The annual report is aimed at investigating and delving into one of Africa’s challenging development issues and make policy recommendations on how to solve such issues to enhance development in Africa.
This year’s report, highlights, ‘rules of origin; as the criteria needed to determine the nationality of a product, and its potency to make or break the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AfCFTA, that entered into force in May.
At a press briefing at the United Nations Information Centre in Accra, management consultant and lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Mr. Phillip Kobina, emphasized on recommendations made by the report to enhance trade in The West African sub-region, especially Ghana.
He stated that getting the rules of origin right will help boost Intra-African Trade and promote a high rate of African Continental Free Trade Area preference utilization across existing Regional Economic Communities as the rules of origins would be made easy to understand by all stakeholders involved in intra-African trade.
‘’…intra-African trade is trade among African countries; a lot of us when we talk about trade, the first thing that comes to mind is Europe.
North America and then Asia, looking for very obvious reasons but to what extent do we trade among ourselves, between Ghana and Togo, is there any level of trade between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, between Ghana and Burkina Faso, between other African countries and us…so if we work on it, it will be a game changer……….the rules of origin to a very large extent ought to be made simple, it ought to be made business-friendly, it ought to be made predictable, I meant if you look at some of the trade agreements, the language themselves are very confusing and very ambiguous and if you trade, it is only when you get to a border that you are bringing your goods to Ghana or you are taking your goods out of Ghana that you are confronted with realities and the paper document that we discuss here“
The media was also urged to probe the government agencies on what they are doing concerning the recommendations made by the report and how they plan on utilizing it to boost trade among Ghana and other African countries to achieve the desired development.
Story by: Duah- Agyeman Serwaa & Susana Mensah|universnewsroom.com