AfCFTA has come to save Africa, says Okyere Baafi

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to improve the prospects of Africa as an attractive investment destination

Michael Okyere Baafi, a deputy minister of Trade and Industry has said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has come at the right time to save the continent.

Okyere Baafi has, therefore, urged Ghanaian entrepreneurs to take full advantage of the boundless opportunities that the AfCFTA presents to grow the country’s economy.

Speaking at the opening of the third Entrepreneurs Solutions Summit in Accra on Thursday (3 November), the deputy minister said, “The AfCFTA has come to save Africa once and for all because it’s an opportunity for Africans to explore the continent ourselves to make sure that we take full advantage of all the benefits in this concept…and every entrepreneur must take full advantage of the AfCFTA.”

He added that the AfCFTA concept “has come as a blessing for Africa” adding that “what is left is the zeal, the encouragement you [entrepreneurs] can give yourselves.”

Role of MSMEs

Okyere Baafi said the government is determined to build a robust economy based on the contribution of micro small medium enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs.

He said MSMEs play a critical role in the development of any country hence the need to empower and harness its potential to grow the economy.

The deputy minister said the sector employs about 2.5 million people and contributes to about 75% of Ghana’s GDP adding that “for this reason my Ministry has in place strategic interventions to develop the industrial sector and more importantly so that our MSMEs become a primary economic vehicle for creating wealth, reducing poverty and promoting growth as well as development.”

He said the Trade and Industry Ministry is currently implementing the Business Regulatory Reforms (BRR) programme which seeks to make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.

“The reforms focus on making regulatory services more efficient and transparent by simplifying existing regulatory frameworks and removing those that are unnecessarily impending business growth …” he said.

The Entrepreneurs Solutions Summit is an annual summit which brings together like-minded entrepreneurs and influential leaders to share ideas, inspirations, insights, actionable strategies and innovative solutions to grow businesses tailored towards success and also celebrates the hopes and ambitions of entrepreneurs that strive in the challenging market to win.

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