The launch of AfCFTA Hub Ghana, the largest single trade market for the African Continent, will connect 1.3 billion people across 55 countries, addressing the issue of validation and cybercrime on a unified platform, says the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful.
AfCFTA Hub initiative, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained would bring together the AfCFTA Secretariat and strategic partners like AfroChampions to create a network for accelerating the kinds of regional integration that would drive the kind of trade that could deliver economic transformation.
At the launch on Monday, August 29, 2022, at the Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence, Accra, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful in her welcome address said that the AfCFTA Hub Ghana is a deliberate effort of the government, as the country’s overall framework, to embed its digital strategy into the massive AfCFTA opportunity.
The Communication and Digitalisation Minister assured that the launch of the AfCFTA Hub in Ghana was a careful thought to bring down the barriers obstructing the integration across Africa, believing this would resolve the issue of past dashed hopes and the pitfalls of globalisation.
She said that AfCFTA Hub would provide a common trade platform within the African continent to engage in transactions without having to worry or be affected by any European conflict or pandemic.
She added that Ghana being part of six others participating in the Guided Trade pilot to fast-track AfCFTA implementation could interlink their systems with the AfCFTA Hub to create a powerful nerve centre to facilitate and energise Small and Medium Enterprises and Startups into becoming the fuel for propelling AfCFTA implementation forward.
She stressed that the Communication and Digitalisation Ministry being a multistakeholder platform bringing together the AfCFTA Secretariat, relevant African Union Commission departments, national governmental agencies and private sector platforms through the power and ingenuity of digital technology, the AfCFTA Hub was the principal tool for aligning Ghana’s wide-ranging digitalisation policy with the varied opportunities presented by AfCFTA.
AfCFT Hub, she said, should make it easier for technology startups and other producers of ICT goods and services to find markets across Africa.
“Our business process outsourcing landscape shall be revitalised by AfCFTA as Ghana becomes a hub for call centre, data processing, data science and various outsourcing services for businesses all over the continent and beyond.
“Ghana sees the need to use digital technology to bolster the competitiveness of all sectors of the economy to enable economic actors in those sectors to expand their markets through AfCFTA”, she said.
The lawmaker for the Ablekuma South Constituency further stated that the AfCFTA Hub when implemented can aggregate content and tools to capacitate businesses across the country to upgrade their know-how to engage more forcefully in export markets beyond Ghana.
“With AfCFTA Hub, it will become even harder to ignore the massive transformation on the horizon created by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s unprecedented Digitalisation Agenda. An agenda that when coupled with the big dreams of Pan-Africanism, as finally achieved through AfCFTA, can only launch this beloved country of ours into the dizzying heights of true development”, she stated.
The Minister also said that the AfCFTA Hub would commence onboarding young entrepreneurs, Small and Medium Enterprises, startups and all digital marketplace actors across the country onto the platform with a free AfCFTA Number.
Explaining the AfCFTA Number, she said was a single continental trust-building system that would complement other AfCFTA-enabling instruments such as the PAPSS, MANSA, Digital Green Corridor and e-Tariff mechanisms developed by the AfCFTA Secretariat, African Union, the 4D Consortium and trusted partners like Afreximbank and AfroChampions.
She noted that the AfCFTA Number would help Ghanaian enterprises to obtain a sure and secure navigational tool as well as a trusted profile to speed up connections across the continent for business.
Thus, she said the number, which would serve as a unique identification would also serve as critical anti-fraud and crime-fighting purposes domestically and regionally.
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