‘To benefit from AfCFTA, we must patronize locally manufactured products’

Benedict Otoo

Products manufactured in Ghana can only be competitive on the international stage if Ghanaians make deliberate and conscious decisions to patronise locally manufactured products, Benedict Otoo, the Managing Director of Capital 02 Natural Health Company Limited has said.

According to him, brands do well on the international market when they enjoy high patronage and support from their countries of origin.

Speaking to the B&FT in an interview with The Business and Financial Times, Mr. Otoo explained that products made in certain countries enjoy good reputation globally because citizens of those countries prefer their own products to products from alien countries.

However, he said if a country’s citizens have a high taste for foreign made products, products made in that country struggle on the international market because they are considered inferior by their own people.

His comments come in the wake of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which, among other things, gives Ghanaian products easy access to every location on the continent. “As Ghanaians, we need to support our own products. Ghana has a good name internationally. If we don’t like our products, it affects the image of goods made in Ghana,” he said.

Mr. Otoo believes Ghana can enjoy a reputation as a country that produces quality products and services if Ghanaians will develop a taste and acceptance for brands made in Ghana. On the quality of locally made products, he said manufacturers can improve the quality of their products if they adhere to the standards by regulatory authorities such as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

He said for instance, Capital 02’s Living Bitters, which is currently on Amazon, is being sold on the international market because of its quality and efficacy. He admitted that even though the FDA’s guidelines on quality can, sometimes, be difficult to adhere to, it has contributed to the success of the drug on the international market.

“We have become a standard for the herbal businesses and we give credit to the FDA. They have done a good job. They insisted we did the right thing and today, we have produced drugs to meet international standards,” he said.

He spoke against the deliberate attempts by some Ghanaians to tarnish the image of locally manufactured products and cited example of a recent video which sought to create a bad image for the Capital 02 Living Bitters Capsules. In the said video, allegations were made that the drug is unsafe for human consumption because it contains harmful substances.

The FDA, after investigations into the allegations, ruled out the presence of any harmful substances in the Living Bitters Capsules in a press statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Delese Mimi Darko.

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