Regional Stakeholders Discuss AfCFTA, NEDS Implementation

Robert Ahomka-Lindsay

THE GHANA Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has collaborated with other state agencies to embark on a month-long stakeholder engagement programme across regional capitals to discuss the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement and the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS).

The regional conferences are aimed at sensitizing relevant stakeholders from the private and public sectors, especially Ghanaian businesses in the various regions, about export development interventions aimed at empowering the private sector.

The series of regional conferences follow on the heels of the national conference held at the Accra International Conference Centre on October 20 and October 21, where President Akufo-Addo opened the event with Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA, as special guest.

The organizing partners included the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), the GEPA and the National AfCFTA Coordination Office.

Other organizers are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Eximbank and Ghana Revenue Authority.

The first regional conference was held yesterday at Adum in Kumasi where the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, opened the event with Nana Dr. Baffour Ossei Hyeaman Brantuo VI, Mawerehene of Asantehene, His Royal Highness Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, as guest speaker.

The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, gave the keynote address on the conference theme: “Empowering Ghanaian Businesses to harness the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement under the framework of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS)”.

In a statement released by GEPA, the authority said “the regional events are intended to be a lot more interactive with the aim of engaging the private sector to appreciate existing opportunities within the newly launched National Export Development Strategy and how they can effectively access opportunities within the AfCFTA.

“Representatives from the exporter community, private business owners, senior public service officials, private sector representatives in the regions, development partners and the media are expected to actively participate in these regional discussions,” the statement read.

The conferences are billed to respectively take place in Kumasi, Ashanti Region on November 10; Damango, Savanah Region on November 12; Sunyani, Bono Region on November 12; Techiman, Bono East on November 13; and Tamale, Northern Region and Cape Coast, Central Region on November 16.

Others are expected to come off at Sekondi-Takoradi, Western Region on November 17; Nalerugu, North East on November 18; Sefwi-Wiawso, Western North on November 19; Bolgatanga, Upper East on November 20; Koforidua, Eastern Region on November 23; Wa, Upper West on November 24; Ho, Volta Region on November 24; Dambai, Oti Region on November 26; and Goaso, Ahafo Region November on 27.

By Issah Mohammed