A ten-member delegation from the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey(MP) on Tuesday, 14th May 2019. Also present at the meeting was the Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen.
The delegation was in Ghana to assess the country’s bid to host the Secretariat for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The delegation was led by Ambassador Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye, an advisor on Regional Integration at the Bureau of the AU Chairperson. Ghana is among seven countries that have put in a bid to host the Secretariat. The other countries are Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Madagascar and the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
Hon. Ayorkor Botchwey welcomed and assured the delegation of Ghana’s readiness to host the Secretariat. She recalled the significant contributions the country had made over the years to the development of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) which later transformed into the African Union. She added that it was time for Ghana to host an Organ of the African Union.
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Hon. Alan Kyerematen, in his remarks stated that regional markets are crucial for the advancement of economies and the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area would serve as the building block to achieving strong economies for African countries. He underscored the need for African countries to trade among themselves to help deepen regional integration efforts and also help to make the Continental Free Trade Area successful. The Minister also assured the delegation of Ghana’s readiness to host the Secretariat and make it successful if it wins the bid.
In response, Ambassador Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye, thanked Hon. Botchwey for receiving the delegation and added that the Continental Free Trade Area would help African countries to trade freely and ensure a prosperous continent.