The Ministry of Trade and Industry has inaugurated the new governing board of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), charging them with the task to ensure the country maximizes its gains from exports, as this will create more jobs for the youth.
The 13-member board was sworn into office by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, in Accra on Monday November 8, 2021. Speaking at the swearing in ceremony, the minister charged the new board to come up with policies that will promote the growth of industries under their watch in order to create jobs to address the youth unemployment situation.
“We all know that the public sector cannot absorb more people. It is the private sector that provides job opportunity for job creation in our country. With the experience of countries that have achieved significant growth, the evidence is clear that they used industrialization and export development as one of the means of creating jobs.
If you industrialize, it means you produce and the more extensive your capacity to produce, the more you are required to find markets for what you produce. And almost invariably, your domestic markets cannot be the solution. Even for countries like China which has significant large population, their interest is to export. And so focusing on export is important because it allows you to expand your production capacity and then find markets out your domestic market.
So for us in this country, the answer to our problem of creating jobs is to be able to industrialize and if you industrialize, then, we have to be able to export,” he said.
Mr. Kyerematen further encouraged the new board that their efficiency will be integral to the success of the various trade pacts that Ghana is a signatory to such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA), the Ghana-UK trade agreement, among others.
Chairman of the board, Yaw Asuo Banin, assured the minster and the country that he and his colleagues will work hard to achieve the mandate entrusted them.
He, however, implored the ministry to make more funds available to the Authority in order to help it effectively discharge its duties.
“We have a lot of challenges to face but we assure you that we will be dedicated, diligent, committed and united in our pursuit of the goals of GEPA. We will promote and protect the interest of all stakeholders.
I have made some observations ever since I received my appointment letter. I realise that we have just seven regional branches out of the 16 regions of the country. It is my earnest appeal to the minister that you assist the board and management to create more offices in other regions. At the same time, you have thrown a lot of challenge at us but then the resources to achieve these are few,” he said.
The other members of the board are Deputy Minister of Trade, Herbert Krapa; CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare; Dr. Emelia Assiakwa; Philip Abradu-Otoo from the Bank of Ghana; Prof. Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo; Attipoe Prudence Tonator; Bonaventure Adjavor; Hillary Andoh; Yofi Grant; Seth Twum-Akwaboah; John Yao Agbeko; and Dr. Edward Nana Yaw Ofori-Kuragu.