The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources (MSWR), UNICEF and other partners have organised a two-day exhibition for manufacturers of sanitation and hand-hygiene products and facilities to showcase and sell their innovations, as the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) rages on.
Dubbed the ‘Mini Akoben Hand Hygiene Fair’, it was meany to facilitate an improved production and supply chain for affordable and accessible hand-hygiene products in the country. Opening on Wednesday with about 70 exhibitors and dozens of products such hand-washing devices, detergents and dispensers on display, the fair is a prelude to the main event slated for October this year.
Addressing the exhibitors and other stakeholders at a Hand Hygiene seminar to open the fair, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the fair is an opportunity to screen and identify the innovations that can be supported for scaling-up and promotion.
The seminar, she said, was intended to foster Public-partnerships and the development of a Private Sector Strategic Plan for Hand Hygiene, as well as provide an opportunity to dialogue with sector stakeholders on the role of private sector actors in the sanitation market.
She said there will also be an orientation on the concept of Quality and Productivity improvement, known as the Kaizen Concept, to introduce producers and manufacturers to useful tools and resources for improving productivity levels, quality and efficiency, cost-reduction, eliminating losses, enhancing job security, ensuring quick delivery of products and greater customer satisfaction.
In the coming month, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said, GEA will collaborate with its partners to organise a sanitation challenge that showcases various innovations for sanitation and hand-hygiene developed by Ghanaian entrepreneurs. “I urge us all to patronise Ghanaian made innovations as exhibited in the forecourt, provide them with useful feedback and network with sector players,” she said.
According to Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh, the pandemic and other communicable diseases have underscored the need for a joint effort to work expeditiously toward attaining the target of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) – access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene.
“We are also gradually gaining an understanding of the sector and will continue to shape our approach toward support for private sector players in the sanitation sector,” she said. An Environmental, Sanitation and Health Officer from the MSWR, Samuel Akwetey, said government is committed to efforts aimed at improving water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).