Foreign Minister calls for collaboration of member states for ratification of African Free Trade Area

As part of measures to deepen bilateral relations between the Ministry Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic corps, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has held an interactive session with regional deans here in Accra.

The interaction session aims at providing a platform for Diplomatic Corps and Regional Dean to share ideas on how to team up and also exchange views on possible areas of further cooperation in 2019.

“As 2018 is coming to an end, I thought that as a foreign minister, I should hold this session with you, our Regional Deans, to enable us assess how we have cooperated and worked together in the course of the year and also exchange views on possible areas of further cooperation in 2019” She said

The minister said in order to diversify and increase Ghana’s export base, the Ministry has re-established the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau to achieve the policy objective.

“The pursuit of our foreign policy has particularly emphasized economic diplomacy, by which we have supported national efforts to diversify and increase Ghana’s export base, draw in foreign investment, and promote tourism and hospitality among others. The re-establishment of the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau in the ministry has been instrumental in this pursuit.”

Speaking at the interactive session with the diplomatic corps, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said that only 7 countries including Ghana so far have deposited their instrument for the establishment of an African Free Trade Area. The African Free Trade Area aims at creating a single market for goods and services and also to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise levels.

She appealed to other member states to take steps to ratify and deposit their instruments of ratification without which the agreement cannot come into force.

“The year 2018 witnessed an important step forward in our quest for continental unity, with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area. This is expected to, among others, create a single continental market for good and services, expand intra-Africa trade and enhance competiveness at the industry and enterprise levels”.

“So far only seven countries including Ghana have deposited their instruments of ratification of the agreement. Going into 2019, therefore, we hope to see 15 more member stats ratify and deposit their instrument of ratification to enable the agreement come into force.” she added.

She reiterated Ghana’s commitment to ensure a more integrated ECOWAS.

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