President Nana Akufo-Addo will on Monday, August 17, 2020, commission and hand over the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat Building to the African Union Commission (AUC) in Accra.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, made this known in a statement on Friday, August 14, 2020.
It will be recalled that at the 12th African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit held in Niamey, Niger in July 2019, Ghana was selected to host the Secretariat of AfCFTA by Member States of the African Union.
As part of the obligations and commitments under the Host Country Agreement, Ghana is required to provide a fully furnished office complex as the Headquarters for the AfCFTA Secretariat and an official residence for the Secretary-General.
The AfCFTA Secretariat will administer the free trade agreement creating a Single Market for 55 countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion and a total Gross Domestic Product of about US $2.5 trillion. So far, 54 countries have signed the Agreement with 28 countries ratifying same, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said.
The hosting of AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana will promote Ghana as an attractive regional and investment hub in Africa, boost economic activities, and provide job opportunities for Ghanaians, according to her.
The handing over ceremony will be attended by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, the newly elected Secretary-General of AfCFTA, the Speaker of Parliament, Chairman of the Council of State, Senior Government Officials and members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of other guests from the Private Sector and other Public Sector Organisations have been invited to witness the ceremony.
The ceremony will be broadcast live through local and international television networks and social media platforms to a global audience, the Minister announced.
By Melvin Tarlue
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