Namibia High Commission, GEPA target cosmetic industry to boost bilateral trade


To increase the negligible volume of trade and promote more bilateral intra-African trade between Ghana and Namibia, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and Namibia High Commission have identified the cosmetics industry as having viable potential for trade.

Statistics show that the bilateral trade value between the two countries in 2018 was around US$4million while that of 2019 and 2020 was around US$3.4million and US$2.3million respectively, a situation described as negligible and prompting determination to increase these figures significantly within the next five years.

The two organisations, through a memorandum of understanding (MoU), have partnered to bring businesses in the cosmetics sector from both countries together so as to foster linkages and business to business (B2B) engagements.

This will not only increase bilateral trade but also position the two countries to take a bigger cut of the global cosmetics market, projected to reach a value of US$463.5billion by 2027.

Counsellor/Deputy High Commissioner Namibia High Commission, Evilene Hansen, speaking at a business breakfast meeting held in Accra for the Namibia cosmetics businesses delegation and Association of Cosmetics & Detergent Manufacturers, Ghana (Ghana ACAD-GH) mentioned that intra-Africa trade is more critical in this moment than ever – hence the need for governments to initiate efforts which promote same.

“Ghana and Namibia have a good political relationship running; but when it comes to trade, it is almost non-existing. And so we want to pay more attention to and increase that aspect, hence the MoU on trade and corporation.

“In terms of trade and economic diplomacy, we want to see Namibia and Ghana intensify their partnership; and so one area that we have identified is the cosmetics sector, where both countries have a lot of raw materials and potential which can form a basis to enhance trade.

“So, we have made it possible for the Namibia Network of the Cosmetics Industry (NANCi) to come here to establish a linkage with Ghanaian industries for possible networking, trading and other B2B initiatives,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, in a speech read on her behalf urged micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) to explore opportunities that exist in the cosmetics industry, leveraging the partnership with Namibia’s High Commission to increase bilateral trade values.

“We want our women to become very competitive in the continental and global economy, and so we are putting in place training initiatives that will equip them with the right skills and tools to be productive while fostering partnerships with different countries and institutions to create marketing opportunities for exports,” the CEO said.

President of the Association of Cosmetics & Detergents, Ghana (Ghana ACAD-GH), Foster Yaw, stated that the partnership with Namibia is a good initiative that can grow the potential of local players in the sector and boost exports under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The AfCFTA secretariat is in Accra, but what I asked is: for how long do we keep exporting our raw materials like shea butter to Europe and America? When we give them our raw shea, they use technology to separate the oil from the butter and send it back to us in different forms for us to buy at expensive prices.

“We need to export, but the time has come to think aloud about how to export only value-added products,” he said.

President of NANCi, Zodidi Gaseb, indicated that the association focuses on the health and beauty industry of Namibia and has carried out several researches and projects to grow that sector in Namibia; and so the time is due to expand this knowledge and ideas to other African countries while also tapping best practices and essential raw materials from elsewhere to enhance production quality.

She believes that the engagement will build synergy, provide technical support to each other, open-up markets and source natural ingredients for manufacturing in both countries, among others.

“The idea is to be competitive on the global stage. So, if the two countries can come together and say ‘you have this very effective raw material and I have that, let’s combine and work together’, then we can develop stronger products for Africa. We can’t import more European products to Africa in the cosmetics space when we have so much in Africa,” she said.

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