GEPA tasks MMDAs to identify key products for development
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to take active interest in the export development processes of the country.
The GEPA said they could do that by guaranteeing and facilitating an enabling environment and the development processes of at least one key export product of which they have a comparative advantage from each district of the country.
“Such identified and targeted commodities must be in abundance and stand the test of time in terms of quality and could be supplied in large volumes and quantities to meet the demands of manufacturers and industries.”
Dr. Martin Akogti, the Regional Head of the Upper East, and Upper West Regions of GEPA, made the appeal in Jirapa during a district-level sensitization workshop on the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The 63 participants, made up of shea butter, soybean, and groundnuts producers and processors, drawn from the Lambussie District and the Jirapa, Nandom, and Lawra Municipalities were taken through the Policy outlook for NEDS, the National Policy and Legal Regime for nontraditional exports, among others.
He said the sensitization workshop was aimed to expand the supply base and ensure the promotion of vigorous value addition to products and regulate the business environment, as well as build the capacity of processors and producers involved in nontraditional export transactions.
The ultimate objective of the NEDS was to support the government’s initiative of revitalizing the economy through the transformation from a raw material-based economy into an industrialized export-led one.
Dr. Akogti said it was expected that NEDS when implemented, would cause substantial increases in nontraditional export revenues within 10 years to a projected 25.3 billion US dollars by the end of 2029.
Mr. Yakubu Yussif, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, said the AfCFTA had the ambition of creating a single market to enhance African businesses among its 1.3 billion people.
He said Africa had a population of 1.3 billion people and that it was estimated that US$3.4 billion could be raked into the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Ghana exporters must take advantage of this market.
“In this regard, we need to identify new products and these products must be certified for Africa Market. We also need to expand companies audited to do business across the continent,” he indicated.
Mr. Yussif said about 200 agricultural-related companies had been audited and the AfCFTA was working assiduously to clear some of the barriers affecting exports and the free movement of goods and services across the continent.
He stated that the rules and regulations of AfCFTA were also being integrated into the national laws so that companies that were ready to export could do business without any hindrance.
Mr. Yussif announced that currently, meaningful commercial trade was ongoing between Ghana and seven other African Countries and expressed the hope that more countries would come on board soon.
Madam Comfort Kambataa, a beneficiary, who was into soybean processing, said the workshop had provided her with skills and knowledge that would be applied in the management of her business, especially in the areas of quality raw material acquisition, and linking to new technologies and markets.
The GEPA, in collaboration with key export sector stakeholders such as the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Food and Agriculture and Local Government, Decentraliation and Rural Development, the National Coordination Office of AfCFTA, the National Development Planning Commission, the Food and Drugs Authority and others organized the district-level sensitization workshop on the NEDS and the AfCFTA.