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17th Trade Fair poorly organized -Participants

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

Participants at the just ended 17th Ghana International Trade Fair have described this year’s edition as the worse in the history of the country’s international trade fairs.

The fair which took place from February 28 to March 11 this year was on the theme: "Trade and Industry— Heralding Ghana's Economic Growth."

With Ghana gearing itself up to host the ECOWAS Trade Fair in October this year, many had expected the 17th Trade Fair to raise Ghana’s pedestal high in stimulating entrepreneurial drive.

However, contrary to these expectations, poor organisation, lack of coordination between organisers and exhibitors, as well as scanty media coverage characterised the fair.

A tour at the fair grounds at the weekend by the Daily Graphic revealed that unlike previous times where local and foreign companies competed for exhibition space, the just ended fair only witnessed occasional window shopping.

Some exhibitors who spoke to the Daily Graphic bemoaned the lackadaisical nature of the organisation.

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The Managing Director of Daysah Enterprise, an agro-processing firm, Mr George Amissah, appealed to organisers to ensure fruitful collaboration with the media in future fairs.

Mr Amissah doubted the country’s preparedness for the ECOWAS fair judging by the way the trade fair was organised, saying, “if our own could be organised poorly, with no publicity strategies and sponsorship drive, how will that of a regional body be hosted.”

A Nigerian exhibitor, Mr Ugo Nwajiobi of Evans Medical PLC, distributors of medical equipment and furniture, who participated in the fair for the first time, expressed concern about the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the clearance of goods meant for the fair.

He said it took his company a whole week to get its cargo across the Aflao border for the fair.

The Managing Director of En Hakkore Limited, distributors of food items, Mr Maxwell Agyeman, who also participated in the fair for the first time, said there wasn’t effective collaboration among the institutions connected with the fair.

Story by Della Russel Ocloo