Saturday, 15 June

AU@60: Ghana holds flag-raising ceremony to mark day

General News
Flag-raising ceremony

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with other stakeholders held a flag-raising ceremony and a food bazaar to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the African Union (AU) Day on Thursday 25th May, 2023.The ceremony was held at the Forecourt of the State House under the theme ‘‘Accelerated Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in a statement read on her behalf by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Regional Integration, Hon. Thomas Mbomba, stated that the theme for the 60th anniversary of the African Union was critical towards harnessing the opportunities under AfCFTA for Africa’s sustainable development, now and in the future.

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey called on member states of the African Union to work together for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and added that AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world which is a reason for all African countries to commit to the promotion of intra-African Trade and economic integration.

Ms Ayorkor Botchwey further noted that accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA has the potential to stimulate economic growth and development across Africa by removing barriers to trade, such as tariffs, quotas and dumping which culminates in increasing trade within Africa through the creation of a larger single markets, boosting economies of scale and attracting direct foreign investment.

The Minister further urged member states to work together towards accelerating the implementation of the AfCFTA protocols as it has the potential to shape the economic future of the continent, strengthen its position in the global market, uplift the lives of its peoples and accelerate the sustainable growth and development of the continent.

The Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, reaffirmed the strong commitment of the AfCFTA Secretariat to work with all the AU member states and partners to effectively execute its mandate to help achieve the goals and aspirations of the AfCFTA towards an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa. H.E. Mene urged member states to get involved in the actualisation of the aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement for the benefit of all Africans. 

For her part, the Ambassador of Morocco to Ghana and Dean of the African Group of the Diplomatic Corps, Imane Quaadil, noted that, considerable progress had been made since the inception of the AU. She reiterated the commitment of the African Group to take active part in all future initiatives aimed at achieving Africa’s prosperity and the well-being of the continent.

The flag-raising ceremony was followed by a food bazaar featuring different cuisines from across the African continent for participants to savour.

The ceremony was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, officials from the Ghana Armed Forces, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the media and students.