Ghanaian entrepreneurs, who are upbeat about the future of their companies within the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), are being encouraged to ensure that their business entities are formalised in order to reap the full benefits of the agreement.
The only way Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can take advantage of the AfCFTA is for SMEs “to be formalised from the very foundation.”
Dr. Amanobea Boateng, the Chief Executive Officer of Venture Capital and the founder of Women’s DNA Fund and Foundation, said this on the on-air series of the Citi Business Festival on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, June 21, 2021.
Speaking on the topic “Making your Business Export-ready’, she said, “a lot of SMEs are in the informal sector. If this [AfCFTA] is an area you want to participate in, you need to be formalised. You need to be registered with the right authorities. You need to ensure that your systems, accounts, and record-keeping are done properly and up to date; so all of that needs to be in place,” Dr. Boateng said.
She added that not only must the business owners formalise their operations, but they must also acquaint themselves with commercial activities in the huge African market.
Key among the areas they must be informed about include culture, language potential, target market, preferences, and regulations to improve processes towards exporting their products or services.
Dr. Boateng underscored the need for emerging and existing firms to eye the exportation arena, saying, “if you are a business that is not going to export, how are you going to be competitive when others come to the market. It is going to be difficult if you have not thought through it.”
She said, in as much as there are businesses in Africa, there might be differences.
While admitting that they may have similar products, she believes businesses must be interested in seeking information about competitors in those different countries while they operate in Ghana.
To address this, the CEO of Women’s DNA Fund and Foundation said, “you need to inform yourself”
“If you want to export, and it’s the AfCFTA you want to be part of, go and find about it. Go to the relevant authorities. You can go to the Secretariat and get the information. In general, if you want to participate in the general market, find out from those markets”, she emphasised.
There will be a virtual forum on Citi TV on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, to delve deeper into the conversation on Trade, Export, and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The AfCFTA presents a massive opportunity for Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the huge African market.
Ghanaian businesses need to become more competitive in different ways, to enable them to not only take advantage of the new opportunities the pact presents, but also consolidate their place in the domestic Ghanaian market.
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