The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) could be considered as the game changer for the post COVID economic recovery and transformation of Ghana, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Keyermaten has said.
According to him, the country can achieve that if it harnesses the numerous benefits of AfCFTA.
To harness the benefits of AfCFTA, the government complemented the on-going Industrial Transformation Agenda by launching the National Export Development strategy in 2020 to increase non-traditional export revenue from US$2.9 billion in 2019 to US$25.3 billion by 2029.
Speaking at the launch of the electric cable standards for mining companies by the Ghana Chamber of Mines in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority, Mr. Kyerematen said the government has developed a National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Implementation Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade (BlAT).
Some of its objectives are consolidation and growing existing markets, identification of new markets for Ghanaian goods and services, identification and promotion of new products with export potential and provision of timely and accurate information on market trends for Ghanaian business.
“The locally manufactured electric cables can be competitive in terms of quality and price in the African market. The manufacturing companies must therefore take advantage of this window of opportunity that has been created by the AfCFTA to boost their exports to the African Market. The companies should not hesitate to contact the Ministry for any assistance”, the Minister said.
The advantages of developing these electric cables standards for the local manufacturing companies are cost saving and improvement productivity, increases customer satisfaction with high quality products and services as well as sets minimum standards of quality for processes, products and services.
Mr. Kyerematen applaud the Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Chamber of Mines and the National Technical Committee on Electric Cables Standards for developing the local standards and signing the Memorandum of Understanding to further collaborate.
Chief Executive of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Suleman Koney, said the development of standards for electric cables for the mining industry is an aspect of a supplier development programme which the Chamber is quite proud of.
“Appropriate and acceptable standards are a prerequisite to trade and business facilitation. It provides assurance that the product is fit for purpose and will perform as expected. For an industry like mining for whom unplanned downtimes are costly, conformity with standards is not negotiable”, he said.
“Accordingly, the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the Ghana Standards Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide the two organizations in developing standards and align existing standards of mining inputs to meet the requirements of the mining industry”, he added
The Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020, LI 2431 and its predecessor Legislation, the Minerals and Mining (General) Regulations, 2012, L.I. 2173 have been the primary tools through which Minerals Commission regulates local content in the mining industry.
One of the provisions of these legislations is a requirement for Minerals Commission to publish a Local Procurement List based upon which mining companies submit their respective Procurement Plans and Reports to the Minerals Commission.