South Africa’s Debut AFCFTA Export To Ghana During Global Disruptions.

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Philip Myburgh, the executive head of trade and Africa-China business at the Standard Bank Group, highlights the emerging opportunities for intra-African trade development under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. This comes as traditional trade routes face disruptions, shipping times become unpredictable, and freight tariffs soar due to conflicts in the Red Sea region.

With a combined gross GDP of approximately $3.4 trillion and a market connecting 1.3 billion people, the African continent presents lucrative business prospects for buying and trading goods. These opportunities provide alternatives in the current scenario and alleviate the dependence on importing goods from the rest of the world in the future.

In addition to diminishing the necessity for importing goods from beyond Africa, the preferential tariff rates foster the continent’s growth. Myburgh suggests that the AfCFTA holds the potential to enhance South Africa’s economy and generate new employment opportunities through increased economic participation.

In the past month, South Africa initiated its first export to Ghana under the AfCFTA agreement. The exported goods included forged grinding balls and high chrome grinding media products destined for the platinum, gold, ferrochrome, base metal, power generation, and cement industries. Myburgh notes that there are still numerous untapped markets awaiting exploration.

Ghana emerges as a robust trading partner due to its strategic west coast location and the presence of two deepwater ports, Takoradi and Tema. These ports provide logistical benefits for seaborne traffic from South Africa. Often referred to as the ‘Gateway to West Africa,’ Ghana facilitates convenient access not only to its domestic markets but also to other nations in the region.

Myburgh highlights that there are mutually advantageous opportunities between South Africa and Ghana, including:

South African poultry and meat products, where broiler products make up approximately 80% of Ghana’s meat imports, present significant opportunities. Given the substantial Muslim population, there are also prospects for importing halal-certified products.

South African poultry and meat products, where broiler products make up approximately 80% of Ghana’s meat imports, present significant opportunities. Given the substantial Muslim population, there are also prospects for importing halal-certified products.

Cocoa powder and cocoa paste, with an estimated value ranging between $10 million and $15 million.

Frozen fish, with a value of $20 million.

Shea butter, catering to the growing local hair care and skin care markets, witnessed imports of 6.4 million kilograms in 2022, equivalent to approximately $20.4 million.

“Myburgh emphasizes that our engagement with AfCFTA is centered on unleashing Africa’s potential by leveraging digital trade services and cutting-edge technologies such as data science, AI, and blockchain. Collaborating with the AfCFTA steering committee, we aim to offer valuable insights for the effective implementation of digital trade,” states Myburgh.

Our robust connections with Ghana encompass comprehensive banking operations, and notably, the country hosts the headquarters of AfCFTA. Ghana is committed to fostering growth and generating opportunities across the 20 African markets.

Myburgh expresses that with its youthful population, expanding markets, and prospects for intra-African trade, the African continent holds the potential to evolve into a significant global trading bloc. This commitment to the future of AfCFTA underscores our dedication to supporting African countries and their global exports.

 

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