Govt begins regional conferences on AfCFTA, Export Development Strategy

BY: Graphic Business
Dr Afua Asabea Asare- CEO of GEPA

Regional conferences on the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and the National Export Development Strategy are to be rolled out nationwide throughout the month of November.

This follows on the heels of the National Conference held at the Accra International Conference Centre on October 20th – 21st 2020 which was opened by His Excellency President Akufo-Addo with H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA as Special Guest.

The events are being organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the National AfCFTA Coordination Office with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Standards Authority, Food & Drugs Authority, Ghana Eximbank, Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs as supporting institutions and Stanbic Bank as Sponsor.

The first Regional Conference is slated for the Ashanti Region and will take place at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Adum, Kumasi on November, 10.

The conference will be opened by Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, Regional Minister for the Ashanti Region with the Nana Dr. Baffour Ossei Hyeaman Brantuo VI, Mawerehene of Asantehene His Royal Highness Otumfuo Osei Tutu II as Guest Speaker.

Deputy Minister for Trade & Industry Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, will give the keynote address on the conference theme: “Empowering Ghanaian Businesses to harness the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under the framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS)”.

The objective of the regional conferences is to sensitize relevant stakeholders from the private and public sectors, especially Ghanaian businesses in the various regions, about export development interventions aimed at empowering the private sector.  

The regional events are intended to be a lot more interactive with the aim of engaging the private sector to enable them appreciate existing opportunities within the newly launched National Export Development Strategy, and how they can effectively access opportunities within the AfCFTA. Representatives from the Exporter Community,  Private Business Owners, Senior Public Service Officials, Private Sector Representatives in the Regions, Development Partners and the Media are expected to actively participate in these regional discussions.

The month of November has been dedicated to these roadshows to ensure that business communities in all 16 Regions appreciate the relevance and impact of AfCFTA on their businesses and how the National Export Development Strategy is positioned to empower the private sector access the African market through interventions in export.

The AfCFTA/NEDS sensitization train is expected to stop-over in all fifteen (15) regions following the National Conference in Accra as trading under the AfCFTA is scheduled to begin on January 1st, 2021. Watch out for when the Regional Conference makes a stop in your region.

The first National Conference on AfCFTA was organised by Government in August 2019, followed by the second in October 2020 where the National Export Development Strategy was launched.