The first in-person Ghana x Rwanda Business Forum concluded in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday this week with the visiting Rwanda delegation committing to fostering relationships that will support the growth of intra-African trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Rwandan delegation, which consisted of the Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda, Hon. Dr. Jean-Chrysostome Ngabitsinze, other government officials and over 40 private companies participated in B2B meetings and site visits with their Ghanaian counterparts during the three-day summit.
They charted ways to increase trade of goods and services from both countries and beyond under AfCFTA.
The forum organised by the Rwanda Development Board in partnership with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre with facilitation from the Rwanda High Commission also saw over 100 Ghanaian business people take part.
Addressing participants at the forum, the Secretary General of the AfCFTA, H.E Wamkele Mene, emphasised the importance of such events which are building blocks to achieving Africa’s ambitious targets for intra-Africa trade.
“Increasing multilateral trade includes increasing bilateral trade and thus this initiative of the business forum is so important for the AfCFTA’s success in achieving Africa’s agenda of bolstering free movement of goods, services and people.
Changing the story of Africa and increasing trading with one another is going to be challenging but it is worth every effort. Nobody is going to improve our continent for us, we must do it ourselves and the potential is there. We just need to be intentional,” Hon. Mene noted.
Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Dr. Jean-Chrysostome Ngabitsinze said:
“Let us access the markets with goods and services both in quantity and in quality, and we are better positioned to utilise economies of scale if we do this as an African partnership.”
On his part, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Herbert Krapa said:
“Everything we have done since 2017 has been focused on empowering SMEs and the private sector to grow because when SMEs grow, the economy grows.”
Julienne Sina of Enterprise Urwibutso, one of the Rwandan businesses that participated in the event noted that while their Akabanga Chilli oil had already debuted on the Ghanaian market, the forum helped them make further progress.
“Thanks to this trade mission and the facilitation we were accorded by the organisers, I was able to work with our distributor in Ghana to secure display-shelves in big and high-end supermarkets,” she said.
The growth in trade between Ghana and Rwanda is expected to deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries thanks to an enabling environment and the AfCFTA.
Rwanda and Ghana are among the seven countries that began trading this month under the AfCFTA framework in a pilot phase. Others include Tanzania, Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya and Mauritius.
- Download photos from the three-day summit here
In Ghana: Evans Boah-Mensah, Public Relations, Communications and IT Officer at the High Commission of Rwanda in Ghana at 0244896718 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In Rwanda: Maurice Twahirwa, Media Relations at the Rwanda Development Board email@example.com