District Oversight Committees engaged on AfCFTA  

By Yussif Ibrahim, GNA 

Kumasi, March 30, GNA – The National African Peer Review Mechanism Governance Council (NAPRM-GC) has engaged its District Oversight Committees (DOCs) on the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 

Members of the DOCs are also being exposed to the Targeted Review of Ghana with a focus on corporate governance and its role in driving AfCFTA, which comes with profound implications for Ghana’s economic future. 

The goal is to empower the DOCs to educate Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) within their jurisdictions to better appreciate the huge opportunities to grow local businesses. 

Organised in collaboration with the regional offices of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the engagements also sought to revitalise the DOCs, which had been dormant due to funding challenges. 

The Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairperson of the NAPRM-GC, speaking at the Ashanti Region edition of the engagement, pointed out that collaborating with the AfCFTA National Coordinating Office would be instrumental in empowering Ghanaian businesses to captalise on the vast opportunities presented by the continental market. 

He said it was in that spirit that the NAPRM-GC had initiated the engagements to enhance the awareness of the DOCs on the important role of the APRM in the implementation of the AfCFTA through the recent targeted review of Ghana. 

“It is expected that the DOC would gain an appreciation of corporate governance practices that will make intra-African trade under the AfCFTA easier for small businesses,” the Chairperson opined. 

He was hopeful that the DOC would continue to serve as the mouthpiece of the Governing Council by supporting its dissemination efforts across the country to community-based organisations and businesses in the communities. 

He commended the NCCE and the Institute of Directors for their unwavering support throughout the review process. 

“The APRM’s contributions to the local economic development across the country could not have been possible without the strong collaboration between the NCCE and the NAPRM-GC since the inception of the APRM,” he acknowledged the role of the NCCE. 

Mrs. Winniefred Akoto Sampong, the Acting Executive Secretary of NAPRM-GC, said it was important to build the capacity of the DOC to be able to monitor the implementation of development projects at the district level. 

She said the engagement formed part of the revitalisation agenda to make the DOCs vibrant to deliver on their mandate as the sub-structure of the APRM. 

The DOCs, according to her, were being equipped with new ideas such as the implementation of the AfCFTA and corporate governance principles to be well positioned to disseminate information at the local level. 

“After an assessment conducted in 2023, we realised that our MSMEs do not have the corporate governance capacity to benefit from the AfCFTA so we are trying to build their knowledge on how they can benefit from the AfCFTA,” she noted. 

Madam Akua Zakaria, the Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of NCCE, said the Commission had over the years worked closely with various institutions, including the APRM Ghana to sustain the country’s democracy. 

She said it was in line with that commitment that the NCCE was collaborating with the NARPM-GC to revitalise the DOCs to disseminate the targeted review outcomes and also promote citizens’ ownership and participation. 

She was of the firm believe that the exercise would increase the knowledge of members of the DOCs to further strengthen Ghana’s democratic dispensation.