The creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents a great impetus to boost the continent’s pharmaceutical industry, Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Michael Okyere Baafi said Wednesday.
Opening the West Africa Pharm and Healthcare (WAPHC) show, Baafi urged players in the industry to take advantage of the opportunities in the AfCFTA to expand their capacities to make Africa’s pharmaceutical industry globally competitive and more profitable.
“The AfCFTA is an exceptional opportunity for Africans to explore Africa and explore our potentials before any other person comes in,” he said. “And doing business like that means you will expand your horizon and increase your production and profitability to give meaning to your existence as a business.”
He said the Ghanaian government is giving meaning to these aspirations through efforts to elevate some Ghanaian pharmaceutical companies to reach the World Health Organization’s best manufacturing practice standards and to enable them to participate in international procurements both on the continent and globally.
“I encourage many Africans gathered here who are in the pharmaceutical business that the AfCFTA is your baby. We should take advantage of it and encourage African leaders to prioritize these activities, because it has come as a blessing to Africa,” Baafi said.
The three-day WAPHC show comprising conferences and exhibitions is organized under the aegis of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
With the coming into force of AfCFTA, AGI CEO Seth Twum Akwaboah said, industries on the continent should be prepared for keener competition among themselves, whether they choose to export or produce for their domestic markets.
“To prepare and take advantage of the opportunities, you must have good governance systems and upscale your investments. You should also identify the right products and produce to the standards that can meet requirements everywhere, so nobody can say your goods do not meet their standards,” Akwaboah told Xinhua in an interview.
Moreover, he said, African industries need adequate financing to rise to the occasion.
“This financing should be medium- to long-term, on flexible terms with competitive rates. That will enable businesses to grow and enter the AfCFTA market,” Akwaboah said. Enditem