The Ghana Exports Promotion Authority has re-echoed that the recently launched National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) which is an initiative of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and mainly implemented by GEPA will develop the potential of the non-traditional export (NTE) sector through industrialization and intense collaboration between private sector and government.
The 10-year structural transformation embedded in the NEDS is targeted to earn the country $25.3 billion in 2029 from Non-Traditional Exports which is a $22.5 billion increase from the 2020 figures.
Speaking on Eye on Port on how to promote value addition to Ghana’s exports to remain competitive in a continental economy, the Director of Projects at Ghana Exports Promotion Authority, Alexander Dadzawa expressed that with Ghana hovering below 3 billion dollars in its annual Non-Traditional Exports numbers, his outfit is keen on value addition to the country’s export produce to promote diversification, reach wider markets and increase revenues.
“We have recognized that to do 3 billion dollars is not enough. The potential we have is big and we haven’t taken advantage of it. So the idea is to give a big push to the export sector to harness all its potential,” he explained.
He said the NEDS implementation rests on three major pillars, which include boosting the supply capacity of Ghanaian exports, eliminating bottlenecks in the local trading system that inhibit growth of small and medium scale enterprises, and human resource development.
“You know there are various challenges small businesses face, from infrastructure, to cost of utilities, and access to credit at very affordable rates to enable them compete,”
He added, “we have done a lot of research that suggest we have a lot to do when it comes to trainings of our private sector operators to be able to take advantage of the market opportunities.”
According to the Director of Projects at GEPA, within the NEDS, the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority will ensure the revitalization, deliberate and aggressive promotion of 17 priority areas of enormous export potential.
He said investment would be dedicated to research for the development of some goods into finished products.
“In agriculture, we have cashew which is known widely to have a lot of potential, but this time around we are focusing on processed cashew export. We are also looking at processes cocoa as well as the horticultural sector, for example. We are looking at textile and garment too.”
He said the NEDS also factors in the production of automobile machinery which aligns with government’s drive to make the country the regional hub for the manufacturing of vehicles.
According to Mr. Dadzawa, the export of services is not left out as his outfit is keen to realize Ghana’s potential in education, Informational Technology and health services.
“We have excellent medical facilities that we can leverage on, and attract people to come and consume those services, which can generate foreign income for the country,” The Director of GEPA Projects touted.
He urged companies and businesses within the identified areas to approach the Ghana Export Promotion Authority for their needs to be addressed on a case by case basis.
“We are setting up a secretariat and for whatever development these selected business areas seek, we will give them priority and look at their situation case by case depending on the special needs of that particular company,” he said.
The Director of Projects at GEPA, said government, and for that matter GEPA, will serve as the facilitator to link businesses to problem-solving situations, like funding, access to raw materials, quality and standardization institutions among others to ensure that all that is needed is provided to augment the capacity to export.