Taking a leaf out of Winston Churchill’s book and not allowing a good crisis to go to waste, Ghana and Zambia have put in place strategies that have worked to their advantage during the pandemic.
And they’re strategies that the private sector could adopt to leverage the AfCFTA within the context of the pandemic, in the view of a panel of experts speaking during a virtual webinar hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Korea Customs Service (KCS).
Ghana previously imported most of its Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), but since the pandemic the government has galvanised 14 local garment firms to manufacture PPE. These firms now produce 1 000 items daily, according to Ghana’s deputy trade minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsay. The development has created 10 000 jobs.
“Traditional value chains have been challenged which made us realise that we cannot rely on those value chains,” Lindsay said.
Some of the worst-affected sectors in Africa - such as tourism, aviation and education - had shown resilience, said Kenneth Baghamunda, DG customs and trade, East African Community Secretariat. “Zambia has also achieved significant success with cashless payment solutions at its border and other innovations since Covid-19 and is another example of favourable results.
“We need to see which value chains need to be developed and we need to interconnect our policies with the right institutional framework,” he said.