As part of its broader focus of promoting goods and services of Ghanaian origin, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the national TPO mandated to develop and promote Non-Traditional Export (NTEs), has in collaboration with Nigeria-Ghana Business Council, sponsored 10 Ghanaian universities to undertake students recruitment drive in Nigeria.
The drive which attracted some of the best universities in Ghana, took place in the Cosmopolitan city of Lagos, the oil enclave of Port Harcourt and the federal capital of Abuja.
Among other considerations, the drive, which was a maiden one spearheaded by a national TPO, was to market Ghana’s offer in the area of higher education to targeted groups in Nigeria.
The Authority fundamentally believes that this mode of export pursued by the universities (termed as Mode 3) is a major means of earning forex to the nation.
GEPA expects foreign students to come to Ghana to purchase and consume Ghana’s educational services.
Realizing the major contribution of the sector to the economy, GEPA’s strategy, derived from the National Strategy for Export of Non‐Traditional Services and the National Export Strategy has witnessed a coordinated and a more focused approach to promoting tertiary education and to have higher institutions of learning serve as the gravitating points for students across West Africa and beyond.
Madam Afua Asabea Asare, the CEO of GEPA has indicated that a more focused strategy is needed to push the number of foreign students Ghana’s tertiary education.
She said steps have therefore been initiated to upscale GEPA to provide support to the services export sector.
She strongly considers education as a massive exportable service worth promoting and positioning in the Ghanaian export ecosystem.
With vigorous promotion by GEPA and other relevant stakeholders, foreign students’ population should substantially increase in the near future to earn the country huge foreign exchange resource.
The participating universities from Ghana expressed their immeasurable appreciation to GEPA for the initiative, and expressed optimism of a better drive going forward.
About 700 students and other publics including parents and guardians interacted with the universities to understand the courses offered and seek for opportunities for on the spot admissions.
The participating universities are Ashesi University, University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Wisconsin University College, Entrance University, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Central University College, University of Mines and Technology (UMAT), and the Ghana Technology University College (GTUC).
Ghana’s services sector has consistently contributed markedly to the GDP of the country, underscoring the relevance of the sector to economic growth and job creation.
Some key services sectors driving the economy including the telecom and the banking sectors, IT services, maritime services, education, amongst others.
Ghana’s education sector is the preferred destination for Western Education in the sub-region.
With an estimated population of about 370 million, the ECOWAS market is a massive educational service goldmine yet to be untapped.
The preference for Ghana is even more pronounced when it comes to the demand for English language education.
This goodwill has transformed the country’s educational institutions into Meccas for foreign students.
It is imperative therefore for Ghana to harness this goodwill for substantial foreign exchange earnings.
It is equally important to emphasize that the more foreign students attend these institutions the possible it is to cross-subsidize for Ghanaians.
Currently, Ghana has reasonably good higher institutions of learning, ranging from polytechnics to universities offering various academic programs structured to align with the global semester system.
The Ghana Export Promotion Authority has developed Services Export Strategy that seeks to streamline and strategically position the Services sector in the NTEs portfolio.
The major sectors being currently promoted currently are, Education, Medical Tourism, Professional Services and IT and IT-enabled services.