We may only see benefits of AfCTA in 25 years-ILAPI boss

President of policy think tank, Institute for Liberty and Policy (ILAPI), Peter Bismark Kwofie has expressed doubt in the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

According citizens in the countries that have signed the agreement especially Ghana will see the benefits of the AfCFTA in 25 years.

This was contained in an opinion piece he penned down.

It was based on the experience he had in sending money from Ghana to Senegal.

He wondered why there were no platforms to send the money as smooth as possible instead of people using a rigid and expensive process.

“It took me 16 hours looking for a money transfer platform to send money to Senegal. I downloaded more than 5 money transfer apps claimed to be sending money across Africa. They all failed. I called several banks in Ghana and elsewhere to talk to them for bank wiring (SWIFT) and my brother, the cumbersome processes gave me a money transfer miscarriage. One funny aspect of it is to buy dollars here in Ghana and look at the country’s currency and send equivalent in dollars with unforgettable fees and processes.

Each call outside Ghana to Burkina Faso or Senegal cost GH5.60 per minute or less. I tried calling other banks to see that of RIA, Money Gram, Western Union etc and all confirmed I can only receive but one cannot send money via those platforms. Then I tried to see how best I could receive funding from Nigeria and same hot pepper soup. I had to then use my network to ask for help and with Nigeria there could be a way out at a cost. Africa is receiver of remittance not a giver or sender. No wonder we love receiving aid than to trade.”

The AfCFTA is expected to boost intra-African trade, promote industrialisation and competitiveness and contribute to job creation.

The AfCFTA is also expected to improve the prospects of Africa as an attractive investment destination.

Read his full piece below

I do not express contempt or ridicule a beautiful free trade agreement by Africans called AfCFTA. I am among the many on the continent who in our small ways adventurously advocates for free trade and I love any thing about free people doing their businesses to create wealth.

However, I finally admitted this evening that AfCFTA has no future or it will take 25 years for the policy to fully impact the continent economically.

It took me 16 hours looking for a money transfer platform to send money to Senegal. I downloaded more than 5 money transfer apps claimed to be sending money across Africa. They all failed. I called several banks in Ghana and elsewhere to talk to them for bank wiring (SWIFT) and my brother, the cumbersome processes gave me a money transfer miscarriage. One funny aspect of it is to buy dollars here in Ghana and look at the country’s currency and send equivalent in dollars with unforgettable fees and processes.

Each call outside Ghana to Burkina Faso or Senegal cost GH5.60 per minute or less. I tried calling other banks to see that of RIA, Money Gram, Western Union etc and all confirmed I can only receive but one cannot send money via those platforms. Then I tried to see how best I could receive funding from Nigeria and same hot pepper soup. I had to then use my network to ask for help and with Nigeria there could be a way out at a cost. Africa is receiver of remittance not a giver or sender. No wonder we love receiving aid than to trade.

Then AfCFTA came to mind where capital cannot cross borders. Then AU came to mind so I looked up to the AU laws and AfCFTA policy papers.

Look, if there’s hope for AfCFTA it will be in 25 years time. I saw beautiful pictures of aged but “intelligent” men in suits outdooring a bounciest but beautiful baby call AfCFTA. I read some speeches of these old men and I must confess they give hope on papers.

Then in other photos these old but “intelligent” men are enjoying cocktails and laughing. If you put the picture close to your ears one might hear them laughing loud.

How do I do business as a young man on the continent to create opportunities including employment without any form of capital crossing borders in Africa. I cried because the deadline was over.
One thing I have observed is that, you could see EU offices scattered in Africa. Have you EVER seen any AU office in any European country? I will share the next experience I had with these old but “intelligent” men in a meeting.

Serious revelations.

This is a cup of coffee to AU

By: Rainbowradioonline.com

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