COVID-19 and the...

Business a.m. - - COM­PANY & BUSI­NESS -

sec­re­tar­iat was be­ing ap­pointed. A pay­ment sys­tem for agri­cul­ture was de­layed on ac­count of travel re­stric­tions but would prob­a­bly be com­pleted by Septem­ber. Oramah in­di­cated some suc­cess in the pool­ing of med­i­cal sup­plies to tackle COVID-19 and noted on­go­ing work on the cre­ation of a repos­i­tory plat­form for due dili­gence.

It had been a strug­gle to de­velop re­gional sup­ply chains in the ab­sence of stan­dard­ized tar­iffs and stan­dards. The paucity of good trade in­for­ma­tion had been an­other con­straint. Ghana­ian busi­ness had a poor feel for what Egypt, for ex­am­ple, pro­duced. This can be eas­ily solved in our view. We are talk­ing about the work of a cham­ber of com­merce, a trade as­so­ci­a­tion or the trade unit of a well-funded em­bassy.

Afrex­im­bank will be a cen­tral player in the AfCFTA, we un­der­stand, by run­ning the clear­ing house for in­tra-African pay­ments. It was also to part-fund a loan scheme to com­pen­sate mem­bers for the loss of cus­toms rev­enue on tar­iff har­mo­niza­tion. Mr Mminele called for pol­i­cy­mak­ers to in­ject ur­gency into the area’s cur­rent ne­go­ti­a­tions on sev­eral fronts, and sug­gested that, given the de­vel­op­ment of greater gen­eral ex­per­tise in these COVID-19 months, the pro­to­col cov­er­ing e-com­merce be­came a pri­or­ity.

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