The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has expressed excitement in collaborating with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) on the latter’s Impact Hub initiative, intended to provide relevant trade information to the Ghanaian export community to boost the country’s export trade.
The facility, christened the GEPA Impact Hub and located at the African Trade House – the secretariat of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Accra – is fully furnished with computers, dedicated online resources, printed trade information and publications, and a library to aid exporters in accessing trade information.
GEPA has plan to rake in revenues of US$25.3billion from non-traditional export trade by 2029, and the Hub is expected to contribute significantly to achieving this target through the provision of key trade information to exporters.
Speaking at the opening and unveilling ceremony of GEPA Impact Hub, Chief Executive of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, said the Hub represents an excellent one-stop shop for harmonising regulatory processes and provides an avenue for primary regulators to provide easy access to information for the needed support and information for the Ghanaian export community.
The CEO of the FDA said that government’s agenda of industrialisation perfectly fits into what the FDA has been pursuing in encouraging small and medium industries and entrepreneurs to manufacture products which meet international standards and demands of the AfCFTA market.
The GEPA Impact Hub, according to Mrs. Darko, complements the FDA’s efforts at removing barriers in the way of businesses to encourage companies pursue their dreams of manufacturing and exporting various food, drugs and related items to other markets on the continent.
The FDA, according to the CEO, is excited and commits to working with all stakeholders to establish a seamless system with GEPA that will offer and make information easily accessible to businesses and exporters who visit the Hub.
Mrs. Darko indicated that the Authority has in recent times chosen to focus on supporting manufacturers through its Industrial Support Department and the innovation of a 3-tier Progressive Licencing Scheme that allows young and prospective entrepreneurs easy access to regulatory requirements needed to start and operate their businesses.
The licences are colour-coded, ranging over Pink, Yellow and Green. These colour categories are important, according to the FDA, because even the small business owners no longer have to wait to fulfil every single requirement before getting market authorisation for their products. The categorisation of licencing is accordingly meant to streamline processes to ensure that every step is met and guided to achieve international standards.
“It is in this spirit that we partner with GEPA on the Impact Hub initiative by making FDA’s services available at the Hub to exporters, manufacturers and the entire business community to allow for quick and easy access to what we do,” Mrs. Darko explained.
GEPA’s CEO, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, said an important aspect of GEPA Impact Hub’s offerings is the permanent presence of other key stakeholder government agencies, including the FDA, to facilitate its services.
According to her, the Ghana Standards Authority, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Ghana Free Zones Authority and several other agencies are all present at the Hub – providing key information to exporters on their services.
Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen lauded GEPA for its initiative of opening the Impact Hub, and also commended the FDA, GSA and PPRSD for being the pioneer organisations to provide services from the Hub.