15 May 2019

Ghana: AU Delegation Calls On Ayorkor Botchwey

A ten-member delegation of the Africa Union Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

The visit was to formally inform the sector minister of their presence in the country to assess Ghana's bid to host its secretariat.

Ghana is among six countries that have so far requested to host the CFTA secretariat.

The aim of the secretariat is to establish a single market across Africa and extend the provision of regional public goods beyond hard infrastructure.

The other five countries who are also interested in hosting the secretariat include Madagascar, Kenya, Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia and Eswatini.

The leader of the delegation, Ambassador Rosette Nyirinkindi Katungye stated that the African Union (AU) welcomes Ghana's interest to host the secretariat, adding that her outfit would ensure they collaborate effectively with the Ghanaian officials to arrive at a best decision.

She said, "I can confidently assure you that we are an independent team who will attach integrity to this exercise. We appreciate profoundly the fact that right from the onset, Ghana understood the task at hand and knows exactly what the continent needs."

The AU, she said, also appreciated each member state and government stressing that the hosting of the CFTA secretariat was very significant.

Ambassador Katungye said it was the hope of the AU to see every African had a better quality of life through its united efforts, as it looks forward to a richer and more prosperous continent.

Welcoming the delegation, Ms Botchwey stressed that, creating a single market for Africa was a move in the direction.

She mentioned that Ghana had the capacity to host the secretariat which would promote trading amongst African countries and also create more jobs.

According to the minister, the time had come for Africa to deepen its integration efforts as a continent, especially by way of creating a single market.

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