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John Apea: Africa must leverage on opportunities from Commonwealth

AfCFTA currently connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product valued at US$3.4 trillion

John Apea, head of mission, Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council is optimistic Ghana can rake in more revenue, if its leverage on trading with Commonwealth countries under the African Continental Free Trade Area AfCFTA.

AfCFTA currently connects 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product valued at US$3.4 trillion.

Speaking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday(29 June) Apea said “If you look at the ASEAN countries for instance, their Growth Domestic Product (GDP) alone is about  US $3.2 trillion,  if you look at the APEX countries it jumps to about 50 trillion, so you see already that US$ 49 trillion just from vending this two continents together.”

“Now what if AfCFTA is able to vend other blocs together, because AfCFTA alone is about 3.4 trillion , if we are bale to vend with Commonwealth, the Commonwealth GDP for last year was about US 13.9 trillion , If we are able to vend with AfCFTA , imagine how explosive it can be.”

“We can probably be hitting US$40-50 trillion, if AfCFTA is also able to vend Commonwealth countries, just the African ones as well as maybe the Pacific or ASEAN countries , imagine the number, because we have so many gateways within the Commonwealth,” he said.

Listen to John Apea in the attached video below:

PAPPS is critical to improving intra-Africa trade

The Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) is critical to improving intra-Africa trade, newly appointed CEO of eTranzact John Apea has said.

African businesses lose over US$5 billion every year to charges, payments and other related costs to intra-African trade barriers.

Speaking to Kwaku Nhyira-Addo on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Wednesday( 8 June) Apea said localised payment system is crucial in making the  African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) a success.

“The most important thing that I think has been done in that ecosystem is the creation of Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS)  which was launched by the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia some months back.”

“If Iam paying for a good in Kenya from Ghana, I have to bounce it off to another currency for that currency to now convert to that currency in Ghana, …that doesn’t capture a lot of informal market, and that informal market is very  important for that informal market to be attractive to investors,” Apea said.

“The Africa Free Trade Agreement is very good in theory but it need practical steps for it to be able to achieve it’s objective, because if Iam buying tomatoes from Sierra Leone in Ghana for instance, it might be cheaper for me to actually buy the tomatoes from China and have it shipped to Ghana, because the tariffs are too high,” he added.

Fred Dzakpata

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