Business News of Sunday, 4 November 2018
Organisers of the Ghana International Trade and Finance Conference (GITFIC) have agreed on a new partnership that will see Ethiopia hosting the next edition of the forum.
The first ever Ethio-Ghana International Conference on Trade and Finance will be held at the plush Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa from 11th to 12th April 2019.
Conference organisers Rescue Shipping and Investment Agency last week signed a memorandum of understanding with the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations to allow for the organising of the conference.
Selasi Kofi Ackom who is Chief Executive Officer of the Rescue Shipping and Investment Agency Limited signed on behalf of the Ghanaian firm whilst Mr. Getachew Regassa who is Secretary General of the Addis Ababa Chamber which comprises more than 17,000 companies and business signed on behalf of the Ethiopians.
Following the second successful organising of the GITFIC at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Accra in April 2018, Mr. Ackom announced “we are going to go globetrotting with GITFIC for a while and return to Ghana for the 10th edition.”
The decision to host the next conference in Ethiopia is in fulfillment of that pledge.
In 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry set up a desk to receive proposals for the One-District-One-Factory initiative at the first edition of GITFIC. The Mexican Ambassador to Ghana used the same platform to announced her country has decided to use Ghana as the gateway for its $9-$15 billion investment in West Africa.
“This upcoming conference as always will create the platform for business VVIPs, VIP’s, CEO’s, MD’s, Owners, etc. to meet and discuss business and investments opportunities between the two countries,” Mr. Ackom announced after the signing of the MOU.
He says the objective behind the decision to take the conference to Ethiopia is to help boost trade between the two countries by creating a common platform and laying the fundamentals to facilitate same.
“What has necessitated next year’s conference in Ethiopia is the almost 0% trading relationship between the two countries. History recalls that the front runners for the total liberation of the African continent were Ghana’s Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of the CPP and Ethiopia’s Hailie Selassie and a few more African countries. It is therefore absurd that trade between these two countries is at a record time 0%,” Mr. Ackom said.
“All businesses in Ghana are encouraged to sign up for next year’s conference in Addis. The Addis market is three times that of Ghana. The youth makes up 70% of the total populations in Ethiopia. This simply means that companies and businesses can triple their revenue and profit margin if they extend their investments into the Ethiopian Market,” Mr. Ackom added.
GITFIC and the Addis Chamber announced they are committed to bringing business persons, government officials, policy framers and regulators of both countries to work on laying a bridge for increased trading between both countries. The Ghanaian Embassy in Addis Ababa and the Ethiopian Embassy in Ghana will play supporting and facilitating roles in the conference.
A sensitization workshop will be held in Addis come December to sensitize the over 17,000 members of the Addis Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations on the upcoming International Conference.
This workshop will clearly spell out the importance of this upcoming conference and all the benefits it will bring to Ethiopian businesses.
Same will be replicated here in Ghana in January 2019.