The Chief Executive of Ernest Chemists, Mr Ernest Bediako Sampong, has said the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) will create more employment opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry.
He said new markets would help manufacturers increase employment due to the high demand for products.
Mr Sampong, speaking at the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce Industry (GNCCI) virtual sensitisation seminar in Accra, said AfCFTA was a laudable idea but, “I do not think it is going to be easy”.
He said the implementation would be challenging because of the attitude of Africans towards products that were manufactured on the continent.
Mr Sampong said the industry would benefit from transfer of technology with international pharmaceutical companies setting up factories in Africa and creating employment opportunities.
The event was organised by GNCCI in partnership with Joy Business and the Ghana Shippers Authority on the theme: “AfCFTA: Adopting the right business strategies to fully benefit”.
It was aimed at sensitising small scale businesses to how they could strategise to benefit from the agreement.
He said there would be opportunities for some multinationals to also collaborate with existing companies to enable them to export to the sub-region.
Mr Sampong said there would be a possibility of medicine security and a boost in industrial investment and consequently called for workable policies and programmes to facilitate investments.
He urged government to support the private sector to develop their businesses to contribute to the development of the economy.
”We urge government to waive taxes on equipment used for manufacturing”.
A Technical Advisor at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Anthony Nyame Baafi, said government through the ministry had set up institutional structures to support the implementation of the agreement.
“We have the inter-ministerial, the national AfCFTA Secretariat to provide information to everybody, who wants access to any information,” he said.
He said arrangements were in place to ensure that member states took advantage of the agreement, stressing that the government needed the private sector to partake in the implementation of the agreement and if there were any challenges, the Ministry and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority were ready to assist.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Shippers Authority, Ms Benonita Bismarck, said it was an opportunity to partner with the GNCCI to educate the private sector on how to maximise the benefits of AfCFTA.
“It is all about education and sensitisation, so at the end of it, we will go across the nation to ensure that our stakeholders fully understand and take advantage of this all-important concept,” she said.