A one-day sensitisation workshop meant to ensure use of National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) as a roadmap to the realisation of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was held at Dzodze in the Ketu North District of the Volta Region on Friday.
It was organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to build the skills and capacities of stakeholders towards a 10-year plan by the government to generate more revenue from non-traditional exports (NTEs).
As part of the programme the participants, about 50 were schooled on the AfCFTA , One District, One Exportable Product (1D1EP) and the mandate of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Speaking at the workshop,the Volta and Oti Regional Director of Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Mr Chris Amposah Sackey, said a review of the policies and programmes within the sector would boost the sector.
“It is so sad that as a country we have not been able to add value to our raw materials we have before exporting them”, he stressed.
“Over the years we always export raw materials this explaines the reason why government was unable to raise its targeted revenue of GHc25.3 billion in that sector,” he added
Mr Amposah Sackey said under the NEDS, the government was expected to prioritise products like cocoa, cashew, yam, oil palm, coconut, horticultural products among others.
He assured that AfCFTA would minimise challenges traders faced in trading among African countries, help grow Ghana and Africa’s economy adding Ghanaian businesses must take advantage of the opportunity.
He said “we need to nurture the country into an industrial hub” and urged MMDCEs and other stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunity.
“This is critical because as much as the AfCFTA is about movement of goods and services, in essence it is equally about movement of the African people,” Mr Sackey said.
The Ketu North Municipal Chief Executive, Anthony Avorgbedor, in his remarks said as a municipality they were ready to lead potential investors to establish in the Municipality to make it big.
He assured that they would continue to build partnerships for the transformation of the area into a business hub to add value to its raw materials, grow the local economy and enhance livelihoods.
Participants called on the government to stabilise the cost of farming inputs for farmers to invest more locally in the agricultural sector.
FROM KAFUI GATI, DZODZE