Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has held a one-day sensitisation workshop on the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) for exporters and Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Oforikrom and Asokore Mampong Municipalities of the Ashanti Region.
The workshop was intended to bring exporters and businesses within the district levels up to speed with the strategies being adopted by GEPA to ensure the country’s Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) match up with demands from the international market including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Eastern Regional Director for GEPA, George Adomako noted that, NEDS being the roadmap, is to revitalise and strengthen the economy of Ghana permanently by transforming it from a raw material export to value-added manufacturing economy.
In view of this, Mr. Adomako noted that 17 products -cashew, horticultural products, oil seeds, processed cocoa, textiles, garments and apparels, fish and fishery products among others – have been pulled out from the lot, which much attention will be given to, in a quest to boost the export industry.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, Deputy Ashanti Regional Manager for GEPA, Francis Fosu Kwakye, explained the rationale behind the sensitisation.
“Government has developed a strategy that is being used to achieve substantial increasing non-traditional export value. It is a 10-year strategy, 2020 to 2029 – where the government wants to achieve about US$25.3billion and it involves everybody in this country.
We are doing this sensitisation to create awareness at the district level and among the businesses. Last year, we did the regional sensitisation to create awareness among the regional people but now we have decided to go to the district level to reach the people and make them aware of the strategy and their contribution.
It is also to sensitise businesses to add value to whatever thing that they are producing so that it can help the country to achieve much in terms of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs),” he emphasised.
Senior Programmes Officer, Capacity Building, National AfCFTA Coordination Office, Grace Mimi Antwi-Asante explained to participants the need to add value to their product to make it more Ghanaian in order to compete in the AfCFTA.
She added that the National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan has been established to boost Ghana’s trading prospects with the 43 member-countries of the bloc.
The framework, which is geared toward the harmonisation of relevant policies, programmes, laws and regulations to boost the productive capacities of the private sector in Ghana, particularly the MSMEs, is to harness the full benefits of the continental trade area agreement.