The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has pledged to provide tailor-made support services to female entrepreneurs in the export business to help increase earnings from the sector.
It said beyond helping expand their businesses, the support would equip them to bridge the gender inequality in the private sector.
The strategy is part of the authority’s broader plan to help the country achieve the United Nations’ (UN’s) Sustainable Development Goal Five, which enjoins countries to create equal opportunities for both genders by 2030.
In the gender context of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), women have been identified as the main agents of change to achieve equitable social balance and social justice.
Yet, men have dominated the export landscape in Ghana for a long time. Therefore, in practical terms, an export strategy for females will mean providing support to women’s export-oriented businesses and activities to increase their participation in export.
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In planning the NEDS’ programmes, GEPA noted that it would undertake the mapping out of gender roles and relations along the value chain to identify and eliminate inequalities and gender-based constraints and institutionalise the collection and analysis of statistical data on women-owned enterprises in export.
“Measures that strengthen women’s product associations to facilitate their access to resources, benefits and training will be promoted.
“Also, within women’s business enterprises, management practices that foster gender equity and advancement of women will be encouraged while undertaking advocacy for their access to resources such as land and finance,” it stated.
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Youth and disability strategy
In the NEDS, the GEPA also outlines plans to support the youth and physically challenged persons to grow their businesses to support the country's export revenues.
The Youth in NEDS focuses on expanding opportunities for the youth to participate in the export-related business activities.
The interventions envisaged are: improving the export environment by implementing measures which reduce risk and cost and improve profitability and competitiveness of the export business to attract the youth to participate in export.
On the other hand, NEDS’ approach to dealing with Persons With Disability (PWDs) is based on the principle of “for each according to their ability (or disability)”.
“NEDS envisages matching ‘type of work’ with ‘type of disability’. It builds on the SDG principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ and ensures inclusion and development of PWDs everywhere,” it stated.
- The NEDS, spanning 10 years (2020-2029), seeks to diversify and grow the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector of the economy and employ a private-sector-driven approach.
- It is expected to give a significant boost to Ghana’s export volumes by growing NTEs from US$2.8 billion (2020) to US$25.3 billion in 2029.
- An amount of US$60 million will be invested annually under the NEDS to diversify and grow the country’s exports.