Ghana at full speed to boost regional trade
In preparation for the 13th World Trade Promotion Organizations (WTPO) Conference taking place in Accra, Ghana in May, ITC acting Executive Director Dorothy Tembo visited the country on 4-5 March. The event is jointly hosted by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the International Trade Centre.
‘Africa has great potential in trade. The upcoming WTPO conference, the world’s largest gathering of trade and investment promotion organizations, will help small and medium-sized businesses to adapt to fast-moving global trends and volatile international conditions,’ said Ms. Tembo at a press conference.
‘The conference explores how these institutions serve as an ecosystem for small firms which export, or those keen to go international,’ she added. It will strengthen a better Africa approach, as the continent moves forward in implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.’
H.E. Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia of Ghana and Ms. Tembo discussed ITC’s role in working with Ghana to advance sustainable trade, empower women through trade and improve export capacity for Ghana’s micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. ‘This is a step by step approach, which progressively takes us in the direction we want to go. It as a signal that we aim to facilitate the production of quality goods and usher in a new era of development.’
Dr. Afua Asabea, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), briefed Ms. Tembo on the development of the Ghanaian trade agenda at national, regional and continental levels. They are focusing on improving the quality and visibility for ‘Made in Ghana’ goods and services. This is especially relevant, said Ms. Tembo, as GEPA is “set up to help ensure that the Ghanaian private sector is equipped and responding to the market needs and wants, particularly during this time when Africa is establishing an even more conducive trade environment.”
In a meeting with Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO of Ghana Export-Import Bank, Ms. Tembo reaffirmed the existing collaboration in promoting national and regional value chains in cocoa, cassava, cotton and shea butter.
On her visit, Ms. Tembo also met with the United Nations Country Team in Accra consisting of representatives from many United Nations programmes and agencies, with which the International Trade Centre looks forward to increasing collaboration.