Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFiC) has called on the government, the private sector, and stakeholders to work together to fast-track regional integration.
This, they said, could be done by addressing trade challenges under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
They also suggested that institutional capacities be built among stakeholders and businesses in the formal and informal sectors in the implementation of the Pan African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS).
These formed part of recommendations after GITFiC’s 5th annual trade and finance conference held in Accra on the theme: “Facilitating Trade & Trade-Finance in AfCFTA; The Role of the Financial Services Sector”.
The occasion had experts and stakeholders from the financial and monetary institutions in Ghana and on the continent, attending both physically and through electronic means.
The ceremony was graced by Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana, who opened up the event with a presentation on behalf of the government.
The conference urged African contracting parties to respect protocols under the AfCFTA to reduce the incidence of smuggling, unfair trade practices such as dumping, transshipment of third-party products into the African liberalized market.
“African economies are encouraged to build an integrated and organized financial mechanism, and allow an independent monetary system, to ensure the smooth and effective implementation of PAPSS and not necessarily a full-blown-private entity like AfreximBank which has a substantial amount of Private Interest,” it said.
It said implementers of PAPSS should show a clear roadmap for trust, sovereignty, commitment, control, and ownership of data, capacity, and capability and PAPSS should also allow for signatory African countries to have their national switches connected to ensure smooth operationalization.
“African economies are being encouraged to roll out policies which would lead to financial inclusion for the unbanked and the petty trading community. Systematically address infrastructural gaps and improve the general ease of doing business across the sub-region,” the conference suggested.
It added that central banks on the continent should be assured and guaranteed at least one percent of all transactional revenues.
This, the conference said would spike up interest and commitment by all Sovereign States on the continent and their various financial architectures.
Mr Selasi Koffi Ackom, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GITFIC said it was necessary to deepen discussions among stakeholders to enable African economies to maximize benefits under the AfCFTA.
He also stressed the negative impact of Africa’s fragmented fronts as a possible means of derailing the time-sensitive lines of the proposed AfCFTA achievements.