Lily Crentsil (right), Sheabutter Boss-Lead, explaining how the product is made to Irchaad Razaaly, (2nd from left), Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, and some other dignitaries during the  exhibition. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
Lily Crentsil (right), Sheabutter Boss-Lead, explaining how the product is made to Irchaad Razaaly, (2nd from left), Ambassador of the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, and some other dignitaries during the exhibition. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI

EU invests GH¢75m to support Ghana's exports

The European Union (EU) has invested GH¢75 million (€6.2 million) to help boost the competitiveness of the country's exports on the international market.

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The investment, made in the last four years, focused on three main value chains which included cassava, fruits (mango and pineapple), cosmetics and personal care products.

It was a contribution to the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), a partnership initiative between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the EU.

The programme seeks to strengthen the competitiveness of West African products and to enhance the integration of ECOWAS countries into the regional and international trading system, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, who made this known at WACOMP Ghana SMEs Product Exhibition in Accra yesterday, observed that the investment would help Ghanaian businesses to build  better access  and become more competitive in regional and international markets.

“The EU has contributed around GH¢75 million to the programme, with the aim to boost the competitiveness of Ghanaian exports and support sustainable production and processing.

“We are focusing on three main value chains: cassava, fruits (mango and pineapple), cosmetics and personal care products,” he said.

The exhibition was held by WACOMP in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) for more than 50 EU-supported SMEs of fruits, cassava and shea butter products.

Some of the firms that showcased their products included Unique Solution Farms, Ghana Home Foods, NyCa Pro Beauty, Leam Shea Products, Agape Cosmetics, Exotic and Hapriam Cosmetics.

The exhibition was part of several activities marking the 2023 EU Month celebrations which spans May 9 to May 27, this year.

Showcasing innovation

The ambassador observed that the event was an opportunity to showcase innovative products made by young entrepreneurs in the context of the EU Month celebrations focusing on youth and skills in the country.

“Alongside this exhibition of more than 40 SMEs supported by WACOMP, we will also hold a 2-day training on waste management in the country.

“The main objectives of WACOMP are to strengthen the competitiveness of West African products and to enhance the integration of ECOWAS countries into the regional and international trading system, including AfCFTA,” he said.

According to him, the exhibition was a unique opportunity to promote the success stories of small and medium Ghanaian businesses in key value chains, including tropical fruits, cassava and shea butter, important export items for the country.

He explained that those products were exported to all corners of the world such as Asia and the Middle East, United States, the EU.

“Under WACOMP, we are constantly working with SMEs to keep increasing export opportunities in particular to the EU.

Our SMEs work in clusters as this provides a more enabling environment for the exports and exporters,” he added.

Govt’s commitment

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Patrick Yaw Nimo, expressed the commitment of the government to partner many international organisations to help improve the country’s competitiveness and export capacity on the international market.

He said it was refreshing to note that the WACOMP initiative had impacted more women-owned firms to boost their export fortunes.

“I have been associated with WACOMP from its inception and Ghana has performed appreciably well,” he said.

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He urged the SMEs participating in the exhibition to make cautious efforts to expand their operations starting from the West African sub-region.

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