H.E. Wamkele Mene spoke to delegates at the inaugural Ghana-Rwanda Business Forum, emphasising that strategic relationships of trade and investment that are bilateral, are for the benefit of the entire continent.
He urged the delegates to take advantage of the AfCFTA and expand to other regional markets. Addressing some of the challenges they may face such as lack of access to finance and cost of currency conversion, he outlined what the Secretariat is doing to help them. He highlighted the Secretariat’s close work with AfDB and AFREXIMBANK to increase access to trade capital and the PAPSS that facilitates seamless transactions in local African currencies.
He also spoke about the Protocol on Women & Youth in Trade. “It offers us an opportunity to move beyond expressing aspirations for inclusivity and actually creates legally binding obligations that will ensure that women and youth are at the centre of benefits in the AfCFTA.”
“We shouldn’t look at the AfCFTA as purely a trade agreement. It is truly Africa’s last opportunity. If we miss it now, I’m afraid we will forever remain on the periphery of the global economy. That’s why it’s important that we look at it beyond a trade agreement and see it as a blueprint for Africa’s development”