Businesses in the Upper West regional capital have been urged to add value to their products so as to enable them take advantage of burgeoning opportunities in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Implementing the AfCFTA is expected to deepen trade between countries on the continent and help sustain government’s industrialisation agenda through the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme.
Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura, made the call at a conference held in Wa during a regional conference on implementation of the AFCFTA agreement and National Export Development Strategies (NEDS).
The conference forms part of a series of regional sensitisation programmes being organised jointly by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and National AfCFTA Coordination Office. it was held on the theme ‘Empowering Ghanaian businesses to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA under the framework of NEDS’.
Mr. Diwura indicated that GEPA is spearheading implementation of the new National Export Development Strategy, which has been aligned with government’s industrialisation agenda to help promote a rapid increase in non-traditional exports over the next 10 years.
Technical Advisor, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones-MoTI, Dr. John-Hawkins Asiedu, explained that when the AFCFTA is fully implemented it will be the second-largest trade bloc with a single market of about 55 countries – which has a population of over 1.2 billion and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$3.4trillion.
Upper West Region Minister, Dr. Hafiz Bin-Salih, said the region has lots of agribusiness and tourism potentials which can be harnessed to create job opportunities, and that the implementation of AfCFTA will help small-scale businesses in the region. “Expanding the airstrip into an airport will help attract more investors to also help enhance socioeconomic activities for the indigenes,” he said.
He therefore urged all to rally and effectively implement government’s planned programmes to move the region out of poverty.