Success of AfCFTA will require review of fundamental bolt, nuts of agreement and repositioning- Law School Dean

“Implementing the AFCFTA at full throttle will require that fundamental bolts and nuts of the agreement be reviewed and repositioned"

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

Dean of the UPSA Law School, Prof Ernest Kofi Abotsi has called for a review of the fundamental agreement of the AFCFTA in order to ensure an effective full-scale operationalization.

According to him, the AFCFTA implementation might clash with or will be confronted with hurdles that are politico-economic in nature.

“Implementing the AFCFTA at full throttle will require that fundamental bolts and nuts of the agreement be reviewed and repositioned

Crucially, there are significant political economy hurdles that can confront the optimal implementation of the agreement and the full realization of the gains or benefits of the regime"

Speaking on Wednesday, June 7, 20222 at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Forum on the topic; " Political and Legal Environment for the AfCFTA,” Prof Abotsi further stated that a further issue that has to be tackled without further delay for the success of the regime is the need for the removal of all barriers impeding free movement of goods, services, and persons across the border through the institution of Visa-free travels.

Additionally, he bemoaned the fact that having undergone the process of cross-continental de-colonization for over 50 years, African Countries still maintain and enforce Colonial Boundaries erected to preserve the interest of colonial powers. He noted that the requirement of visas to various African countries is unsustainable for the growth of the trading regime.

Further to the above, the Law Dean said that if continental entrepreneurs are made to move from Embassy to Embassy in search of Visas anytime they have to travel to visit their businesses, the risk, and uncertainties of getting Visas will be sufficiently a disincentive to deter businesses from going across the continents.

Prof.Abotsi intimated that the free movement of persons is extremely important to the continental integration of economies and Business interests thus no trading regimes can succeed in such movement restriction regimes across the trading zones.

Also, he touched on the canker of corruption as another problem that may heighten the cost of doing business and disincentivize business owners from doing business on the continent.

“Corruption is another problem. Corruption remains a major obstacle and the inception of the pandemic offers further opportunities for corrupt officials to further their goals. When traders are made to make illicit payments, it heightens the cost of doing business and acts as a disincentive towards commencing and sustaining businesses across the continent.”

He thus called on the AU and the AFCFTA Secretariat to circumvent the Global process which is ongoing relative to the movement of goods and persons by introducing a free movement area under which countries of the AFCFTA can be voluntarily encouraged to sign up.