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Ghana and TradeMark Africa Reach An Agreement Over The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor



In order to increase intra-African trade, Ghana and TradeMark Africa (TMA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of trading infrastructure along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.

Following the recently concluded Africa Prosperity Summit, an agreement on the commercial corridor, which connects Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria and accounts for more than 75% of West Africa’s trade, was signed.

It took place in Peduase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, and it happened at the same time that TradeMark East Africa changed its name to TradeMark Africa and expanded its commercial operations into West Africa.

The Abijan-Lagos corridor’s performance was improved, supporting intra-African commerce as intended by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. This showed the parties’ dedication and determination to improve trade-related infrastructure and the environment.

In the presence of the Caretaker Minister of Trade, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, and Mr. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, AfCFTA Secretariat, Mr. Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, and Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Board Chairman of TMA, signed on behalf of Ghana.

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The improvement of export competitiveness of African enterprises and the integration of the $3.4 trillion African market under AfCFTA are anticipated benefits of the building of the trade infrastructure.

In order to enhance commercial facilitation and custom clearance of goods and persons through various ports and land borders, Mr. Jinapor said the Trademark Africa project would complement measures implemented by African nations.

The cost of cross-border trade on land borders, particularly for Micro and Small Enterprises, Mr. Jinapor, who is also the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, remarked, remained a significant concern on the African continent.

To overcome the linguistic barrier between Ghana’s anglophone population and its francophone neighbors, he argued, it was vital to construct operational joint border posts.

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To that effect, he claimed that this was the most reliable way for citizens and small enterprises to successfully profit from the AfCFTA.

But he was positive that TMA’s effort had a specific position to assure greater customs cooperation and trade facilitation, particularly among the continent’s most vital trade corridors, such as the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.

“The AfCFTA lays a historic obligation on our respective governments to carry out this task as soon as possible, particularly given that we have the necessary financial and technical support to carry out our joint border project. This might really be a case of putting the AfCFTA into practice,” according to Mr. Jinapor.

Mr. Mwencha, who referred to Africa as a sleeping giant because of its enormous potential that has yet to be realized, claimed that increased intra-continental trade had brought the continent closer to realizing its dream of prosperity.

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According to him, the cooperation would allow TMA to gradually increase the impact of its programs and support the AfCFTA in enabling the continent to benefit greatly from free trade in high-value goods.

In order to establish Africa as a partner of choice for global off-takers, Mr. Mwencha, a former deputy chairman of the African Union Commission, said the company would concentrate on assisting the development of digital and green trade corridors.

Moreover, he emphasized that the company’s initiatives will be focused on fostering inclusive commerce to lower poverty rates and guarantee that vulnerable populations were better included in the continent’s trading systems.

“We shall use a corridor-to-corridor strategy in modernizing the transit processes and improving the collective competitiveness of all the trade corridors on the continent,” Mr. Mene stated.

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