Dr. Willard Mugadza, the International Consultant on the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) has lauded the country for the legal frameworks and policies .
to guard the operations of State-Owned Enterprises.
He said, “what we have so far identified is that, since our engagement in Accra with state owned enterprises, is in terms of the legal frameworks and policies, the legal framework is there, the policies are there, but there is more work that needs to be done in terms of implementation of the existing legal framework.”
Dr. Mugadza disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency in an interview during a Stakeholders engagement to review Ghana’s Corporate Governance under the theme:” Corporate Governance as Catalyst for the Implementations of the AFCFTA in the Republic of Ghana in 2023.”
The targeted review would identify governance gaps to improve upon corporate governance standards and practices in the country to harness the benefits of the AFCFTA.
He said there was also the need for capacity building for SOEs since without robust and good corporate governance, especially through your SOEs, which were the implementing agencies of AFCFTA it would be difficult for the private sector, informal sector, small to medium enterprises to quickly engage for full participation of the opportunities AFCFTA presented to growing individual economy under the African programme.
The International Consultant added that issues of Rules of Origin in Trade Area were also a critical subject for access to the market, which behooved on Ghana to promote total compliance…for Ghanaian companies to comply with the requirements of Rules of Origin, it will require ethical good transparency, competent and effective leadership, some of the core principles of corporate governance.
Dr. Mugadza stated, “two things coming up which are very critical, and these are cross-cutting issues across the regions number one, there is lack of appreciation, even at regional level by implementing agencies.”
You may find some officers from GRA who have attended our meetings, some of them only understand a few principles of AFCFTA, a few principles of corporate governance”
This is why we need to bridge the governance gap between them and people who are supposed to benefit under AFCFTA or institutions or businesses that are meant to benefit.
He mentioned that the stakeholder’s consultation and engagement had become the pivot to craft some recommendations that would be able to assist the Ghanaian government to move forward particularly the private sector.
The informal sector contributes about 70% of Ghana’s economy and must be assisted through access to market and finance to participate.
He said Ghana was already trading under the guided trade principles and having the AFCFTA Secretariat in Ghana with 54 African countries participating should be a plus adding that, “Ghana is strategically positioned to be the best beneficiary in terms of her positioning and the capacity.”
The Mission Head, Ambassador Abdoulie Janneh was grateful to the President of Ghana for voluntarily inviting the team to carry out such a critical national level exercise and tasked the institutions to effectively work with the government towards enhancing good governance practices to give the country an edge in the trade zone.
He said, “we need a collective approach on how we can all contribute to improve our local economies as a people…we all need to do our part for the society we all dream of as state actors”.
Lawyer and Researcher, Bachir Salifou Oumarou, Country Coordinator for Ghana-APRM called for a more structures informal sector that could take advantage in the trade and was excited that Ghana had taken the lead to be reviewed.
Mr Charles Cobbinah, the Political Assistant to the Western Regional Minister tasked the Team to deploy innovative means and strategies to get more youthful participation in the project.