The Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Mr Wamkele Mene, has presented his credentials to Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
The presentation of the credentials took place ahead of the Commissioning and Handing Over of the AfCFTA Secretariat Building to the African Union Commission (AUC) in Accra on Monday.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey congratulated the Secretary-General on his new appointment and welcomed him to Ghana.
She assured the Secretary-General that the Government of Ghana will work closely with him towards the successful implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.
The Minister, who reiterated the importance of the AfCFTA Agreement in transforming the lives of Africans, also expressed appreciation to the AUC for their continued cooperation in transitioning the interim Secretariat of the AfCFTA from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to the permanent Secretariat in Accra, Ghana.
She said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa now more than ever needed to catalyse its industrialization process with the aim of increasing intra-African trade.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey urged the Secretary-General to use his good offices to encourage Member States to ratify the Agreement to facilitate negotiations and decision-making processes as well as mobilise resources for the work of the Secretariat.
She recalled the decision to postpone the start of trading to 1 January, 2021 and encouraged the Secretary-General to work diligently towards completing all outstanding work and negotiations before the deadline.
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey reiterated the need to leverage on the excitement of Africans towards this historic Agreement, reminding the Secretary-General to implement people-centred policies to benefit the ordinary African.
She further assured the Secretary-General of her availability and that of the Ministry to assist him in the discharge of his duties and to make his tenure fulfilling.