As Ghana prepares for the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to enter into force next year the government has initiated stakeholder consultations aimed at informing and sensitising the private sector on their role and the benefits of the initiative.
African countries are Ghana’s third largest wood export market destination and accounted for 16% of timber exports in 2020. The regional market for plywood is the largest and exports are mainly transported by road to neighbouring countries, most of which are members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Some sawn wood and the veneers are exported to Egypt, Morocco, and Senegal. When AfCFTA becomes operational early next year, it is expected that Ghana could capitalise on the continental African market to increase wood product exports.
In related news, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has partnered its members with the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA) to train and build their capacities in business advisory support on standardisation, certification of products and establishing an e-platform for members in readiness for AfCFTA.
This initiative aims to help industry make informed business decisions in order to take advantage of the full potential of the agreement. About 40 concession holders from selected forest districts in four timber producing regions of southern Ghana are to benefit from a timber legality training programme in support of sustainable forest management.
The Nature and Development Fund (Ghana) will organise the training in collaboration with the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme which targets concession holders who do not have their own processing mills. The training forms part of programmes aimed at ensuring the private sector forest operators follow the legal and health and safety requirements of the Ghana Logging Manual and Ghana’s Timber Legality Assurance Systems (GhLAS).
Source: Tropical Timber Market Report