The Ministry of Trade and Industry has refuted reports that there is a rift between Ghanaians and foreign nationals at the African Continental Free Trade Area secretariat which Ghana hosts in Accra.
In a statement, it said such reports were not only false and misleading but disingenuous.
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry wishes on behalf of the Government of Ghana to state emphatically and unequivocally that there is no such rift or tension between the Ghanaian nationals and their foreign counterparts at the Secretariat.”
Since August 2020, when the Secretariat was formally commissioned, the ministry explained that Ghanaians have played a role within the transition period “to assist the Secretary-General to commence operational activities, while the formal process of recruitment is activated.”
“The OST [Operational Support Team], since its deployment, has had a harmonious working relationship with the Secretary-General and his initial team made up of foreign nationals.”
The team has been working pending the hiring of permanent staff, according to the secretariat.
“It is therefore erroneous to create the impression, as the report suggests, that the Secretary-General is averse to working with Ghanaian nationals.”
The Ministry further noted that “Ghana as a member of the African Union (AU), like any other member state, has a specific quota for nationals that entitles them to apply for positions and work in the AfCFTA Secretariat”.
“In this regard, when the AU recruitment process for permanent staff for the Secretariat commences, interested citizens may apply on a competitive basis to be considered for recruitment to the AfCFTA Secretariat.”
“The claims made in the said report that the Secretary-General is attempting to sideline Ghanaian nationals are false,” it concluded.