UPSA Law School study finds Ghana needs to do more for AfCFTA preparedness

A study commissioned by UPSA Law School has concluded that the legal regime in Ghana is not fully in sync with the goals and objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The study report, which was launched on Friday, September 29, 2023, was produced by the UPSA Law School in collaboration with Ishmael Yamson and Associates and Sam Okudzeto and Associates.

It was under the theme “Situational analysis of Ghana’s AFCFTA preparedness: a review of the legal, policy and regulatory Framework for implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA in Ghana).”

From left to right: Daniel Yaw Domelevo, (Former Auditor-General), Esine Okudzeto (Managing Partner of Sam Okudzeto and Associates) and Sam Okudzeto, (Senior Partner of Sam Okudzeto and Associates)


The report revealed that despite AfCFTA’s mandate to eliminate tariffs on intra-Africa trade, Ghana continues to maintain high tariffs on imported goods.

Percival Ofori, one of the lead researchers on the project, mentioned that Ghana’s policy misalignment AfCFTA goals, has the potential to hinder the realization of the vision of a unified and free trade market across the continent.

“When you look at Ghana’s tax laws, the underlying complaints that come out are the number of taxes, import duties [and] levies that are put on goods that are coming into the country,” Mr. Ofori said.

Percival Ofori, one of the lead researchers on the project, presenting the study’s findings


“Also the GIPC [The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre] Act preserves certain businesses or industries for Ghanaians only. For instance, think about a trader who wants to move to Ghana to establish a business. What stops him from doing that? The GIPC Act prevents him from doing that.”

Mr. Ofori therefore called for a comprehensive review of specific laws that might impede the advancement of continental free trade.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, which commenced in January 2021, stands as the world’s most extensive free trade zone, aiming to unite 1.3 billion people from 54 African nations into a single market.

It could reshape the continent’s economic landscape, offering immense opportunities for trade and economic growth.

Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Michael Okyere Baafi addressing the gathering during the launch of the report


Deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Michael Okyere Baafi stated that AfCFTA is a game-changer which will transform Africa’s economic outlook and reduce reliance on western countries for financial and economic assistance.

“This is the way to make the continent rich and avoid travelling to the West for loans,” he said. “So, we cannot fail. It’s important that as a country we strive to ensure this concept works, as host of the secretariat. It must never be allowed to fail.”

Prof. Abotsi delivering the welcome address at the forum

The Dean of UPSA Law School, Prof. Kofi Abotsi noted that the successful implementation of AfCFTA hinges on the preparedness of individual African countries.

Prof. Abotsi contended that if the government takes the report’s findings into consideration, Ghana can fully harness the potential of AfCFTA while minimizing potential challenges.

Dr. Fareed Arthur, Head of the National AfCFTA Coordination Office stated that the AfCFTA is not a one-time event that one can prepare for.

He explained that the African free trade is an ongoing and evolving process that needs continuous adaptation and commitment to realizing the AfCFTA’s long-term benefits.










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