For ages, Ghana and Nigeria have traded, peacefully. Then Ghana passed Act 865: ‘A person who is not a citizen may engage in a trading enterprise if that person invests in the enterprise, not less than one million United States dollars in cash or goods and services relevant to the investments… employ at least twenty skilled Ghanaians’. Just like that, Ghana knocked down many Nigerian traders, even though it claimed that was not the intention. In this piece, Tekedia Fellow John Mc Keown looks at this.
From what is going on, it looks like African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has lost relevance even before it starts at scale. As Nigeria responds to that Act, Ghana brings a playbook outside AfCFTA for a truce: “‘The Ghanaian Speaker, Alban Kingsford Sumana, says his country has raised a seven-man committee as its delegation to the Joint Committee of Eminent Persons of Legislature between it and Nigeria to end trade disputes and other issues’.
“They will interact with their Nigerian counterparts towards passing the “Ghana-Nigeria Friendship Act”, … The act is … to mitigate Nigerians against the requirements of Act 865.”
So, Nigeria and Ghana will sign a deal, leaving other countries out. Now, John asks: “Doesn’t this leave AfCFTA looking rather toothless?”
What is your take on this, and what it means for AfCFTA if member nations can pick what they want and leave others out? Join the conversation here.
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