Ghana brings trade conference to Namibia

Selasi Ackom

The Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference will host its eighth Intra-Africa Trade Conference in Windhoek on 31 May.

This is the first time the conference, to be held under the theme ‘Deepening the Ghana-Namibia Trade Relations for the AfCFTA Market’, will be held outside West Africa.

According to conference chairperson Selasi Ackom, it will be co-hosted with the Namibia-based Africa Economic Leadership Council (AELC).

The two organisations teamed up with the Namibian high commission in Ghana under the auspices of Selma Musavyi and Ghana’s ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration, in view of good diplomatic relations between Namibia and Ghana, to host the conference.

Also involved in organising the conference was the customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority of Ghana, which each assigned high-level officials for panel discussions with their counterparts in Namibia.

The panels will feature key speakers from Ghana and Namibia, including Ackom, Mary Beantly, Ghana’s chief revenue officer and Nana Mensah Otoo, the head of treaties, international agreements and policy.

Also lined up to make presentations are councillor Heinrich Hafeni, the co-founder of AELC, Samuel Donkor, the president of the All Nations University and Gerald Woode, the conference’s director of research, policy and advocacy.

“The aim is to tell Namibians about the three-year-old Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which allows intra-trade among ourselves.

Ackom says currently there is almost zero formal trade between Ghana and Namibia, except for one company, Abanga, that buys Namibian beef for sale in Ghana.

“We are also here to raise awareness of opportunities that are open for Namibians in Ghana. These are in the small and medium enterprise sector, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tourism.

“Namibian tourism is flourishing and tour operators here can tap into the West African market through Ghana. Ghana and Nigeria alone have a total market of about 300 million,” he says.

Ackom says the business dynamics of West Africa involve that when you have the Ghanaian market, you also have the Nigerian market and when you have the Nigerian market you automatically have the Ghana market.

In addition to the panellists, the delegation also includes a senior officer of the metropolitan assembly of Ghana, who aims to forge sister city ties with local Namibian authorities.

“Our revenue authority has prepared a draft document anticipating to sign an agreement with the Namibia Revenue Agency.

According to AELC co-founder and president Heinrich Hafeni, the conference is aimed at Namibia and African businesses and public and private sector entrepreneurs.

The Swakopmund councillor and tour operator says participants will engage in technical deliberations on the AfCFTA agreement, its prospects and implementation and on how Namibia can leverage on this to access Ghanaian markets, and vice versa.

“It will also look at the collaboration of trade growth and discuss the possibility of a single currency in Africa and how it can be achieved,” Hafeni says.

The participation fee includes two copies of the AfCFTA handbook, ‘Actualising the African Economic Vision, A Practical Handbook on the AfCFTA’, published by the trade conference. – email:

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