The implementation of the single continental market for trade has been met with applause from players in almost all sectors of the economy.
The reason is obvious. In this arrangement, there are limitless opportunities for business growth and expansion, jobs and wealth.
The latest group of workers to throw their weight behind the continental project are those in the transport and logistics sector, specifically truckers and haulers who cart cargo through the nation’s transit corridors.
Coming from the heels of a pandemic that seriously harmed their businesses, transporters say the AfCFTA will be their trump card to speedy recovery.
To them, an open market means more cargo to move across borders, especially from one landlocked country to another, something that is not permissible currently despite numerous existing trade protocols.
But the fortunes of these critical businesses in the shipping industry in their dealings continent-wide will come from prudent policies and interventions from both government and direct stakeholders.
This is because Ghanaian transporters are being faced with serious challenges from their counterparts in landlocked countries for quite a long time.
They have now asked government to use the ECOWAS protocols as a case study to identify similar issues that may arise and tackle it head on.
This is a noble call to action because the role of government in trade facilitation is very vital to the success or otherwise of those that engage in the business itself.
We urge that trade stakeholders will heed this call to action and help return the cargo transport and logistics sector back to sustainable path.
This paper believes that for AfCFTA to succeed, it needs a wider stakeholder buy in and as such it is refreshing to see important players identifying opportunities they can leverage.