The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has expressed its commitment to meeting the ambitious US$4.2billion revenue target for non-traditional export (NTE) commodities set for the year 2022, as it engages producers and exporters to build their capacity for exports under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The country’s NTE earnings increased from US$2.8billion in 2020 to US$3.3billion in 2021, and the authority is determined to continue on a similar growth trajectory by ensuring the NTEs continue to expand into new areas by taking advantage of AfCFTA.
Director of Projects-GEPA, Alexander Dadzawa – speaking on the sidelines of a capacity enhancement programme for the Ayawaso and Ablekuma municipalities in Accra, indicated that his outfit is working in tandem with all agencies and players in that sector to ensure the target is met.
“The target for 2022 is about US$4.2 billion, and considering how well we did in 2021 we can make it with effective collaboration. There are a lot of opportunities for us under the AfCFTA, and if we are able to build the capacity of these producers and exporters with the three main pillars that we are working at – which are to improve supply capacity, ensure a conducive regulatory environment and build human resources capacity – then we can achieve it,” he said.
The capacity-building and sensitisation programme was organised by the Authority in partnership with National Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Coordination Office (NCO), National Development Planning Committee (NDPC) and Sustainability Global (SG).
According to organisers, observations and information gathered at the district level indicate that most medium and small-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the agro-processing and cosmetics sector, especially, have developed an appetite for taking advantage of the AfCFTA to export to neighbouring countries – but certain technical challenges remain an impediment, hence the workshop that is to be held for all 261 districts to discuss challenges and proffer solutions.
Mr. Dadzawa mentioned that the engagement’s focus is to ensure that district-level actors also understand the National Export Development Strategy’s (NEDS) importance and what role is expected of them to achieve the ultimate NTE goal of US$25billion in 10 years.
He added that all 17 priority areas outlined in the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) – which include cocoa, cashew, coconut, fish and fishery products, textiles and garments, sugar, industrial salt, shea, plastic products and petrol chemical products – will be given significant attention.
“The district-level actors play a significant role in the agenda, and so we need to educate them and build their capacity in order to improve their activities to produce more for export. Our target is US$25billion within 10 years, and the local-level players provide the critical capacity base of the products that will be processed for exports,” he added.