The 50th anniversary of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) was last Tuesday launched in Accra with a call on the authority to add value to goods and products exported to the international market to generate more revenue.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, who made the call said even though GEPA had made some progress in its performance, the authority also needed to brand its products to make it attractive.
“We do not want to trade manganese, we want to trade steel, we do not want to trade cocoa beans, we want to trade chocolate. And when we do not add value to our products, we create job opportunities for foreigners,” he said.
The event was on the theme: “50 years of facilitating Ghana’s Exports.”
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According to the minister, “We have an African Continental Free Trade Area where over 1.2 million African products are marketed.
Lets us build on that opportunity to transform the economy.
“The One district, One factory (1D1F) is another venture we can build on to add value to our products,” Mr Ahomka-Lindsay further stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Ms Afua Asabea Asare, said the organisation was halfway through a review of Ghana’s five-year National Export Strategy, which would enable them to achieve a target of USD 5.3 billion by 2021.
“We are diligently working with close to 80 key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society organisations, academia and government agencies on the five-year strategy to enable us to focus on priority areas to export to achieve the set target,”she stated.
Ms Asare also said that with the introduction of an export school, the authority had been able to upgrade the skills of existing and potential exporters, adding “Today, we have over 400 different non-traditional export products.”
Ms Asare further announced that GEPA last year won the coveted World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) Award for best in the use of information technology in the industry.
She also disclosed that GEPA would play host to about 120 institutions from 95 countries during a WTPO 2020 conference in Accra.
A former Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr Kwadwo Owusu Agyeman, who served the organisation from 2000 to 2012, commended successive management and staff of the authority, including board members, for their respective roles in making GEPA the leading export entity in the country.
“I am challenging you to keep on shining, and please, and please, do not lose focus in your responsibility as an exporting company,” he added.