Some sixty-five (65) Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who took part in the just ended AfCFTA Market entry trade expedition organized by Ghana’s National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO), in collaboration with key AfCFTA implementing institutions in Ghana, under the auspices of Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) are reported to have secured 158 individual B2B engagements, with a potential activation value between USD $5 million to $6 million, primarily in the areas of cosmetics, textiles, agro-processing, cocoa, and ceramics.
The market entry expedition which was held from the 23rd to 27th of May, 2023 also saw the enterprises sell 4,209 individual products items, with an estimated value of GH 552,300, with some companies in ceramic, edible oil, and cosmetic sectors, selling all their products during the first two days of the expedition.
The five (5)-day market entry expedition by Ghana to Kenya attracted about 3,200 visitors with 600 visitors daily , mainly made up of shoppers and businesses seeking various deals, and officials from firms and associations looking for dealerships and partnerships.
During a session to evaluate the maiden market entry expedition by the organizers and participants, some of the businesses shared their experiences.
Faustina Nsoh (CEO, Sirigu Indigenous Traditional Real Art): “Before the Expo even officially opened, I had Kenyan clients placing orders for my products. The Expo in Kenya was a great experience for me and my business and I look forward to doing business with the Kenyan partners I met at the Expo.”
Francesca Apeagyei (Co-Founder, Nguvu Global Limited): “The Ghana Kenya expo was a perfect success for us because it gave us the platform to serve the Kenyan market with great quality shea butter and Natural oils cosmetics from Ghana. We know that the product already is a sought after and for us, we were trying to figure out a way to penetrate the market therefore this initiative was perfect timing. The trade expo process was seamless. It was not at all frustrating for us. Everything was times properly from Shipping on logistics from Ghana to Kenya, and receiving the items and the selling process as well and customers from Nairobi, having access to a booth without any hustle so for me this has been 100% successful. ”
Emmanuel Atakora-manu (CEO, Ifok Handmade Limited): “Overall, I will say the expo turned out successful for my company and me. 70% of the entire stock I sent to the expo was bought by individual buyers, 20% was bought by a wholesaler and 10% was of that deposited at the Ghana trade house. I had the opportunity to interact with some suppliers of my core raw material (leather) who promised to give me the best offer. Furthermore, a couple of people whom I still interact with are interested in my distributorship package”
Many of the Ghanaian Companies that attested to securing new business partnerships, export opportunities, and investment commitments as it served as a platform for the companies to showcase their capabilities and connect with potential customers, resulting in tangible business growth and market expansion.
Companies like Marco Polo Tile Group, producers of ceramic sanitary ware and bathroom accessories, Sirigu Indigenous Traditional Real Art, producers of u-shoppers, pottery, and batik tie and dye, and Onrock firm, producers of edible coconut oil had their products sold out by the first two (2) days of the expedition.
The participants expressed overall satisfaction for the initiative and encouraged more of such to be organized regularly.
The organizers are making preparations for Ghana’s next market entry expedition under the AfCFTA and asserts that some new companies will also be engaged to prepare them for future market entry expeditions.