As part of government’s initiative to enable local companies to harness the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO) in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will undertake a Market Entry Expedition for Ghanaian businesses to Kenya from May 23-27, 2023.
Minister of Trade and Industry, KT Hammond will lead the delegation to Kenya, accompanied by Deputy Minister of Trade, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei and other high-level officials of the NCO, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), GEPA and affiliate agencies.
At the event, NCO and GEPA will exhibit Ghanaian products and open the Ghana Export Trade House as part of the expo, to climax with the African Union Day observation.
Kenya has been selected for the pilot due to its position as the biggest market in East Africa which serves as a gateway to the East African market, and to also deepen the existing bilateral bond between Ghana and Kenya.
NCO Coordinator, Dr. Fareed Kwesi Arthur, explained that the trade mission and expo will involve a combination of activities including matchmaking sessions, exhibitions, seminars and business networking events.
“The theme for the 2023 AU Day is accelerating the implementation of AfCFTA and holding the expedition side-by-side would create significant synergy and boost awareness of Ghanaian products in Kenya and a similar event in Egypt in the month of August,” the NCO Coordinator said.
The Market Entry Expedition, according to Dr. Arthur, is designed to facilitate the entry of Ghanaian businesses from different sectors into East Africa with focus on selling a mix of local SMEs drawn from agro-processing, manufacturing, cosmetics and textiles sector into the East African market.
As part of its aims, the event is also expected to increase Ghana’s trade with Africa under the AfCFTA, while introducing local businesses and products from different sectors to selected target markets; identify value chain opportunities for local businesses; increase the presence of Made in Ghana brands across the sub-region and to establish market linkages between Ghanaian traders and East African companies and business associations.
As the main objective of AfCFTA is to boost intra-African trade, the pact seeks to open up a market space for the 46 countries out of the 55 which have ratified the agreement.
But with Ghana’s trade with Africa constituting just 14 per cent compared to its trade with the global market, it is anticipated that the Market Entry Expedition will boost the country’s trade fortunes with the rest of Africa.
Trading under the pact was officially launched on January 1, 2021, with commercially meaningful trade commencing on October 7, 2022 under AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative. Ghana played a significant role in putting this initiative together, as it was led by the Continental AfCFTA Secretariat, the NCO, among other critical institutions.
The NCO is optimistic that products from 100 Ghanaian companies from different sectors of the economy, would be introduced to selected target markets in Kenya and the Egypt expedition in August this year.
The Coordination Office is also anticipating an improvement in trade volumes between Ghana and other African markets as well as an increased presence and participation of Ghanaian products and businesses in regional value and supply chain networks.
The Expedition is being funded by the World Bank’s Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP), the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbei (GIZ), United Nations Development Project (UNDP) and additional sponsorship from Eximbank.
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