Trade is vital to Africa and its economic future. To improve lives and livelihoods, the exchange of goods and services is essential within and across the continent; to facilitate economic empowerment and development, to contribute to employment generation, to effectively integrate Africa into the global economy.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement was effectively put into motion on 1 January 2021, ushering in a new era of intra-African trade and an expectation of an increase in real income on the continent by US$450 billion. In Africa, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute about 90% of all businesses. In Ghana, SMEs (of which a large proportion are local businesses) contribute an estimated 70% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). SMEs represent an important driver of economic growth and are a major stakeholder in the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement in Ghana.
This research provides an outlook on the level of implementation of the AfCFTA agreement in Ghana, the readiness of local businesses to take advantage of the agreement, the ability of local businesses to meet the agreement’s protocols as well as recommendations that could further guide the implementation processes of the AfCFTA agreement in Ghana.