NDPC boss calls for a robust rural economy for AfCFTA

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Dr Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa, Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), has advised Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to build sustainable community-based enterprises in order to fully participate in the single continental market.

“It is pretty guaranteed that if you produce a system that does not resonate with districts, it will never be implemented. AfCFTA is critical because it brings together a number of national programs, and we’ll need to develop a framework for locating all of these national efforts at the district level in order to improve implementation and fully exploit the single market,” he explained in an interview with Single African Market.

To achieve this, he said, a determined effort must be made to establish a viable rural economy based on the productivity of small and medium-sized businesses and rural private sector development.

“How can we increase district-level support for small and medium-sized businesses and sole proprietorships?” he asked. It begins with a pilot program in a small number of districts to demonstrate the feasibility of harnessing and integrating the local economy and AfCFTA opportunities.

If districts are able to generate some revenue locally, any additional support from outside helps establish a robust local economy.”

According to the CEO of the NDPC, MMDAs will need to support rural firms with huge growth potential since they will generate income via taxes and increase rural revenue mobilization.

Dr. Abrampa said that his organization is cooperating with the Local Government, the Ministry of Trade, and other stakeholders to provide targeted trainings in a variety of sectors where these interventions will have a concrete impact.

To him, issuing instructions to aid in the implementation of the AfCFTA at the district level is just the first step.

“The standards provide a clear framework that has been agreed upon by all institutions and stakeholders, which is critical, and also serve as a consistent platform from which the NDPC approaches districts.

We want to acquaint districts with the AfCFTA; we want to guarantee that the vision is not just NDPC-led, but also involves district buy-in,” he said.

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