Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industries, Mr Alan Kyerematen has said the International Monetary Fund must check its facts vis-à-vis its assertion that the gold-, cocoa- and oil-producing West African country risks facing revenue shortfalls if it implements the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) this year.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is to boost trade within Africa by removing trade barriers.
So far, 22 countries including Ghana have ratified the agreement.
The CFTA will, amongst other requirements, enable countries that are signatory to the agreement access to a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product of 2.5 trillion dollars.
Commenting on Ghana’s implementation of the agreement, Mr Albert Touna Mama, Country Representative of the IMF, advised: “Our policy message is to try to put the necessary infrastructure or policies [in place] to shelter part of the population that will be affected”.
Responding to the IMF’s warning, Mr Kyerematen told journalists in Accra on Tuesday, 7 May 2019 when he took his turn at the Meet The Press series that: “I’m surprised”.
“I don’t have access to what you are quoting but if the IMF is saying that the CFTA is going to cause a major challenge for us in terms of job creation, for me it doesn’t add up”, he stressed.
“This is to be the single most important stimulus for investment in Africa because everybody is targeting the African market, but if the investor knows that by locating in an African country, he can export duty-free, quota-free, he’ll bring the investment to the country, so, how could that be a disincentive in terms of employment creation? Please check your facts or ask the IMF to check their facts”, Mr Kyerematen said.