African leaders and stakeholders behind the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) have been urged to develop a common passport to facilitate trade within the continent.
According to Benjamin Acheampong, Executive Director of consultancy group Wealth Masters, the notion of “Africa Rising” will remain a misnomer unless conditions for doing business on the continent with ease are created.
He was speaking ahead of a virtual event on January 29 by Wealth Masters Group, which is under the theme “Righting the Wrongs of Doing Business in Africa Summit”, where organisers intend to provide insights and solutions to improve the business climate in Africa and take advantage of the AfCFTA initiative.
He said governments need to focus on improving internet services, communication and transport in order to ensure a smooth implementation of the AfCFTA.
“When all these infrastructure are put in place, then we are on course to pull this AfCFTA initiative off.”
Trading under AfCFTA commenced on January 1, and Ghana has already freighted its first cargo under the arrangement.
As a continental common market, AfCFTA’s objective is to facilitate the movement of goods, services and persons, and promote industrial development and sustainable and inclusive socio-economic growth in Africa.
It is estimated that the single market will increase intra-Africa trade by as much as US$35bn per annum, by harnessing the purchasing power of the continent’s 1.2 billion people.
However, “we need to have one passport; you cannot move goods and services without people,” Mr. Acheampong said.
The Wealth Masters Group is a world-class leading provider of business development and solutions based in the UK.
The upcoming virtual summit is a precursor to the main event on the continent’s business climate and the AfCFTA slated for March 8-12.