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“We Need All Hands On Deck To Deliver Ghana From Its Current State Of Dependency On Imports" - GEPA

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Dr. Afua Asabea Asare says a collective effort from all can help deliver Ghana from its current state of dependency on inputs.

According to the GEPA Boss, this can only be achieved through tackling the situation from the grass roots.

Speaking at the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS)/Afcfta National Implementation Workshop at the Africa Trade House in Accra on Monday, Dr. Asare said "You would agree with me that we can’t continue to do things the same way and expect different results. We need to all put our hands on deck to deliver the nation Ghana from its current state of dependency on imports and this can only be achieved through tackling the situation from the grass roots.

She added that the workshop is to provoke all to make things happen and think like there is no box.

Dr. Asare also hinted that after the conference, GEPA together with other stakeholders will embark on a district sensitization programme across the country.

She noted that the project when completed will ensure that stakeholders are not only aware of the content of the NEDS but also know and appreciate their roles and contributions towards attaining the target and particularly towards the One District, One Exportable Product (1D1EP) Project.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the technical committee ( the Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Development Planning Commission, Ministry of Local Government, and the National AfCFTA Coordination Office) who have worked tirelessly to plan this event as well as the district sensitization programs"

"Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a packed agenda and I do not propose to keep you from it any longer. I trust that the message you will take from my words to you this morning is that let us make a difference. Export matters: it matters for job creation, poverty reduction, and sustainable development"

The GEPA Boss stressed that good results can only be achieved through a good joint effort adding that she is confident that each of the contributions to be submitted will be worth the while.

Two years ago, the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) was launched to provide a clear direction and intent, to increase non-traditional export (NTE) earnings to US$25.3 billion by the end of the tenth year of implementation, 2029.

After the first year of the NEDS implementation, records indicate a US$3.3 billion revenue from NTEs.

This represents a 17% growth over 2020 earnings of US$2.84 billion, posing an increase in the annual average growth rate of 7.07%.

Despite this increase, a lot more effort would have to be exerted to ensure significant increases for the achievement of the target.

The work plan of GEPA has particularly been centered around the implementation of the NEDS.

A couple of months ago, Hon. Herbert Krapa, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry inaugurated a ten(10) Sector Committees drawn from the public and private sectors to drive the implementation of the NEDS.

"We are indeed charting an integrated approach not only in terms of finding the right mix but also the need for partnerships for a groundbreaking approach to implement the strategy" Dr. Asare concluded.

On his part, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapa said "“We are gathered here this morning, each with a renewed sense of duty, mindful that the story of Africa’s economic integration is not complete without us. It is so because a hopeful continent looks to us – Ghana – the inspirer of a concatenation that will yield ultimately a liberated Africa, to once more show the way”

“And it is so, because we have proven over and again, that the African is capable of leading a change that has for so many long years, eluded us. Africa’s Agenda 2063 is a historic duty. A duty that begins with a collective changing of mindsets, about how we see and do things; A changing of mindsets that must necessarily translate into a change of our attitude to work”

He stressed that the National Export Development Strategy cannot be implemented without institutional collaboration.

“I mean institutional collaboration in the truest sense of the phrase: which naturally starts with a recognition that parties being invited to the table truly have something to offer, and parties sitting around the table, accepting in similar respectable fashion, that they must give everything they can to make what we do a success. And this, is my charge to each of us today”

Explaining further, he noted that the Export Strategy, which is a blueprint for transforming Ghana’s export revenues, is also an opportunity for all to leave their footprints in history.

“I was asked once to describe the African Continental Free Trade Area in one word. I said ‘export’. If after all the agreements, and protocols, and annexes, and meetings, and conferences and etc etc, we do not add value to our abundant and begging natural resources for export, we have failed, and I am confident that we will not fail.”

He said “Based on the broad framework of the National Export Development Strategy, help to expand and diversify our supply base and production capacity with emphasis on processing and value addition; improve the policy, regulatory and legislative environment; and build and expand the required human capital for industrial export development”

He commended GEPA for leading the charge thus far, and urge them to do even more.

“Our target is ambitious, or perhaps even audacious, but we have everything it takes to make it happen”

“Gradually, slowly, surely and steadily, we are shifting gear into full -blown implementation of the National Export Development Strategy. This is perhaps the junction they call ‘a point of no return’, and we cannot afford to retreat at this point. We have built enough momentum for take-off and we must do so with only one outcome in mind: a successful implementation”

The Deputy Minister appealed to all institutions, both public and private sector, to trigger the interventions outlined in the National Export Development Strategy document.

“I equally appeal to our ever dependable associations – Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Farmer based associations, Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, to together, help drive this implementation.”

“I make a further appeal to all other stakeholders – Ministries, Departments, Agencies – Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Free Zones Authority, Ghana Exim Bank, to commit some of their budgets to support the district sensitisation programme as well as other implementation interventions”

He assured the gathering that the Ministry of Trade and Industry and GEPA will continue to provide policy direction and coordination support for a successful implementation.

“If our National AfCFTA Policy Framework and Action Plan for Boosting Ghana’s Trade with Africa, which His Excellency the President will launch tomorrow, will work, National Export Development Strategy must work too”

Below are some pictures:

tory by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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