The secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to begin operations in March 2020.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen said both the physical and soft infrastructure will be installed by then.
He also said recruitment for the Secretariat will begin by the end of 2019.
“Part of the decision that has been made now is by the end of December this year, the process of recruiting the new director General would have been recruited along with the other staff that will be required and by March 2020, it should be operational.”
Ghana has committed $10 million for the setting up of the Secretariat following its selection as the host country.
Ghana’s bid trumped that of Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar and Senegal at the 12th African Union Extraordinary Summit in Niger.
Africa’s biggest market, Nigeria recently signed onto the agreement which aims to increase trade between African countries.
The core mandate of the Secretariat will be to implement the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, which has since been ratified by 25 member states.
The AfCFTA is now the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation.
It will cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across the member states of the African Union.
The African Union estimates that implementing AfCFTA will lead to around a 60% boost in intra-African trade by 2022.
Only 16% of international trade by African countries takes place between African countries, according to research by the African Development Bank in 2014.