A Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa has called on Ghana’s development partners and the investor community to complement Government’s effort at empowering the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to empower the private sector to drive exports into the African Continental Free Trade Area.
He made this call at a Partnership Breakfast Meeting with Development Partners on “Empowering the Ghanaian Private Sector under the AfCFTA”, organized by GEPA on the sidelines of the 13th World Trade Promotion Organization Conference in Accra on Wednesday.
According to the Deputy Minister, Government has worked assiduously over the years to position Ghana as a gateway into several trade markets globally which presents the nation with cumulative preferential market size of 2 billion people.
He mentioned that it was imperative to urgently enhance the capacity of exporters to augment current market penetration efforts into this enormous market to yield tangible results particularly in the areas of increased export volumes, expansion of the economy, job creation and improvement in standards of living.
“GEPA needs to be empowered to empower the private sector to develop value and supply chains to accelerate our exports into those markets. The private sector contribution towards our export agenda is fundamental,” he explained.
He noted that this was vital for the successful implementation of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) which was launched by the Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen in 2020 and currently being executed by GEPA.
The strategy outlines ambitious programmes and projects aimed at increasing Ghana’s Non-Traditional Export earnings from the current 2.9 billion United States Dollars to 25.3 billion United States Dollars by 2029.
This target, Hon. Krapa describes as “ambitious but not unrealistic”, adding that the Export Strategy was the fulcrum around which Government’s industrial transformation agenda was built.
He, therefore, called for the assistance of the development partners for the implementation of the various programmes under the NEDS through funding and strategic partnerships.
The Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare stated that over the years GEPA has embarked on programmes aimed at boosting the competitiveness of Ghana in the global market which has been broadened by the arrival of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
She added that collaborations and funding support was crucial to complement their efforts and propel Ghana to reach its trade targets.
The Coordinator of the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, Dr. Fareed Arthur in a remark mentioned that the AfCFTA was not meant to decouple Africa from the rest of the world, therefore there was the need for continuous collaboration with other organization the world over to advance the national course.
“It is time to put a pause on the talks and take steps to facilitate our implementation of the AfCFTA. The rest of Africa is looking up to Ghana to set the pace on implementation of the Agreement and we must not fail”, he said.
Contributors on the part of the development partners including the Canadian Ambassador to Ghana, Kati Csaba, the Country Manager for the African Development Bank, Eyerusalem Fasika, representatives of the Afrexim Bank and the European Union Delegation to Ghana, expressed confidence in the GEPA programme and assured of their support towards its execution.
The Meeting was also attended by the Executive Director of the International Trade Center, Madam Pamela Coke Hamilton and the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Charles Abani.
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