By Amos Fofung
Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo has pledged to donate some $10 million for the operationalization of the secretariat of the newly launched African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
This comes as Ghana gain the bid to host the secretariat of the Pan African trade deal.
The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, AU selected Ghana as the host country for the Secretariat of the African Continental (AfCFTA) Free Trade Area on Sunday July 7 2019, at the 12th AU Extraordinary Summit held in Niamey, e capital of Niger.
Aside Ghana, other countries including; Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal were all vying to host the secretariat.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 27 member states.
In his acceptance speech, at the Summit, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, thanked the Assembly for the decision, stating that it is a privilege that, for the “first time in our nation’s history, we have the responsibility of hosting an important pan-African institution”.
“We have, taken very important steps towards working with a common voice and a common purpose to exploit the abundant wealth and resources of our great continent for the benefit of all our peoples.
“Ghana is ready to donate US $10 million to the African Union to support the operationalization of the Secretariat. I have set up an inter-Ministerial Committee of my government to work with the AU Commission towards this end,” he indicated.
President Akufo-Addo assured his colleague Heads of State that Ghana will put all the requisite facilities at the disposal of the Secretariat, so that it can run as a world-class organisation.
In addition, and pursuant to the Statutes of the AU Commission, he indicated that the Secretariat shall enjoy the privileges and immunities stipulated in the OAU General Convention on Privileges and Immunities, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities, and the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the Vienna Convention between States and International Organisations or between International Organisations.
“I am determined to do whatever I can to guarantee the smooth take-off of the Secretariat, and help make sure that it turns out to be a world-class institution, which will become the pride and joy of all Africans.”
“We owe it to generations unborn to ensure that the biggest trading bloc on the globe, whose outcomes will be rewarding to all, and which will assist in attaining the “Africa We Want”, does not falter.”