The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry have pledged to support and collaborate with exporters of non-traditional items in the Upper West Region in order to take advantage of the immense export potentials of the region to reach the African market.
GEPA assured that it is poised more than ever before, to facilitate export operations in the region to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and other markets beyond the continent.
At the Regional Conference on the Implementation of the AfCFTA and the National Export Strategy (NEDS) in Wa, Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura, speaking on behalf of GEPA’s CEO, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said, “the recent relatively weak performance of NTEs sector in the international trading environment have revealed the risks, weaknesses and uncertainties associated with our over dependence on primary commodity exports and limited product diversification”.
He however admitted that there is opportunity of a continent in transition, to increase trade among itself, taking full advantage of the AfCFTA to enter other markets in Africa to increase revenue and boost employment.
With an integrated list of 17 priority products being the focal point of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), the GEPA is targeting to rake in US$25.3 billion in Non-Traditional Export revenues by the year 2029.
A key priority product among the list include textiles and garments most of which are sourced from the Upper West Region. GEPA therefore recognized the knowhow of the region in the production of garment and textile products including Kente and Fugu.
A speech read at the conference on behalf of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen by the Technical Advisor, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones at the Trade Ministry, Dr. John-Hawkins Asiedu, emphasized the need to fully prepare towards the implementation of the agreement in January.
He said, “businesses in AfCFTA member-countries are required to position themselves favourably in the continental market before and after the start of trading on January 1, 2021”.
Dr. John-Hawkins Asiedu further explained that the conference, under the theme, ‘Empowering Ghanaian businesses to harness the benefits of AfCFTA under the framework of the NEDS’, is opportune in order to revitalize Ghana’s export development efforts.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe