A civil society organization has advocated for the integration of social accountability and transparency mechanisms into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) strategy to ensure its successful execution.
Osman Abdel Rahaman, Executive Director of Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), emphasized that while AfCFTA offers a substantial platform for economic growth, achieving its benefits hinges on transparency, accountability, and active participation of all stakeholders.
AfCFTA provides access to a vast market of over 1.3 billion consumers across the continent.
Rahaman also stressed the importance of continuous investment in capacity building for local government institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to enable effective engagement in intra-African trade.
The statement was made during a press conference commemorating this year's Africa Decentralisation and Local Development Day (ADD) in Tamale. The event aimed to raise awareness of AfCFTA's provisions and the opportunities it brings for businesses, particularly SMEs and citizens of member countries.
The ADD day is observed annually on August 10 by AU member states.
Rahaman further noted that many trade policy initiatives often remain centralized at the continental and national levels, leading to challenges in their practical implementation. He called for increased awareness of AfCFTA among local-level SMEs, asserting that a decentralized approach would foster unprecedented socio-economic growth for both Ghana and the broader African continent.