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The Association of Ghana Industries is kicking against the African free trade agreement

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AGI explains that imports from Africa would not be liable to duties and it is therefore questioning the Ghanaian parliament for swiftly approving the agreement. 

The ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) by Ghana will expose the country to a flood of foreign goods from other African countries says the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

AGI explains that imports from Africa would not be liable to duties and it is therefore questioning the Ghanaian parliament for swiftly approving the agreement. 

“Every revenue Ghana is getting from imports from Africa is going to be eroded, because importers could bring in anything to Ghana. Even if they are made in Europe, you just take them to any African country and bring them to Ghana to avoid the payment of duties,” it declared.

Reduced revenues

Last Thursday, Trades Union Congress (TUC) organized a breakfast meeting in Accra. Dr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, the president of the AGI, said, “We know the white people are smart in bringing goods through other African nations, and that is what is going to happen to Ghana.

“Even the small revenue the government is making is going to reduce as soon as the 22 African countries ratify the CFTA,” he appended.

This meeting empowered representatives from the TUC, Ghana Employers’ Associations (GEA), AGI and the Ghana Chamber of Mines to analyse ways labour and the private sector can form bipartite relations to address unemployment and the poor quality of existing jobs in Ghana.

Nigerian lessons

Dr Adu-Gyamfi says Nigeria, a country with a population of more than 180 million, refused to ratify the agreement and rather blocked its market to imports of foreign goods such as rice and fruit juices, a measure that had led to the closure of nine rice factories in Thailand.

This situation he believes Ghana could take a cue from.

“The Nigerian government insists that those who want to import rice must find their own dollars to bring in rice to Nigeria and as a result, 95 per cent of rice eaten in Nigeria is home-grown.”

Cut dependence on IMF

TUC Secretary-General, Dr Yaw Baah, mentioned the union’s call for Ghana to end its dependence on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which he blamed for contributing to the economic woes of the country.

Dr Yaw Baah called on industry and labour to join forces to help Ghana end IMF programme, pointing out that until “we show our muscle together to get IMF out, the IMF officials are the only people our government will listen to and not the private sector, which is the engine of growth.”

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