Business News of Sunday, 30 July 2017
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has started a programme to support the thirteen Municipal and District Assemblies in the Upper East Region to identify, develop and promote exportable products.
As part of the preparation stages, a conference on the implementation of the National Export Strategy in relation to the One-District One-Export Product was held on Wednesday in Bolgatanga, the capital town of the region.
The conference which brought together all the Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), planning officers and Coordinating Directors of the Assemblies afforded the stakeholders the opportunity to identify exportable products that could be processed and packaged for export.
Addressing the conference, Mr Akilu Sayibu, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, said it is GEPA’s National Export Strategy and government’s vision to make export the key drive of the country’s economic growth.
He said the full implementation of the one-district–one-export product concept would help the GEPA and the country as a whole to achieve the set target of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) worth US$10 billion in 4 years.
“This seems quite ambitious and out of reach, but we believe it is achievable. We are going to put our shoulders to the wheel to ensure that we do not fail. GEPA believes that our perennial forex fluctuations are partly caused by the low volume and value of exports realized annually. Moreover, the government’s flagship programme of One-District-One-Factory will complement a stronger export base”, Mr Sayibu said.
He said in line with the vision of the President and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, GEPA was currently undergoing certain structural and fundamental realignment to be able to handle the new responsibilities assigned to it.
Mr Sayibu said that as part of GEPA’s vision, regional and district offices would be opened to see to the full implementation of the one-district–one-export product concept.
“We are looking forward to strengthening our presence in this region to be able to unearth the full export potential of this part of the country”, Mr Sayibu said.
Mr Frank Fuseini Adongo, the Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, said the region was endowed with a lot of potential exportable products including the Bolga basket, Sheanut butter, smocks, leather products, wood carvings, drums, baobab oil among others.
He said such products could attract high prices on the international market and help contribute to the reduction of poverty and generation of employment.
Among some of the potential export products identified by the MDCEs include rice, soya bean, Shea nut butter, butternuts, groundnuts and sesame.