Samira To Launch World Shea Expo 2024

Samira Bawumia


Second Lady, Mrs. Samira Bawumia, is expected to launch the World Shea Expo 2024, at the University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale on Wednesday May 29, 2024.

The World Shea Expo 2024 under the theme, ‘Shea Sustainability Expo: Nurturing Growth, Empowering Communities’, will highlight the significance of Shea as a driver of economic empowerment and social development.

The World Shea Expo 2024 will be held at the Aliu Mahama Stadium in Tamale from July 23 to 25, 2024.

Vice President and flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, will officiate the event’s grand opening, underscoring the government’s steadfast commitment to advancing the shea industry and fostering inclusive growth.

The Executive Director, World Shea Expo 2024, Chief Adams Tampuri, has assured that the Expo promises to be a groundbreaking showcase of innovation, collaboration, and opportunity.

According to him, the World Shea Expo 2024 marks a pivotal moment in the global shea industry, bringing together esteemed partners and stakeholders committed to advancing shea sustainability and empowering communities across Africa and beyond.

He indicated that  partners such as the Northern Regional Council; COCOBOD; Tree Crops Development Authority enacted by Act of Parliament (Act 1010) to develop and regulate six tree crops in the country namely shea, coconut,  oil palm, cashew,  mango and rubber; EXIMBANK; Savannah Golden Tree Limited; University for Development Studies (UDS); Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), and Intentional Labour Organisation (ILO) have rallied behind the initiative, demonstrating unwavering support for the promotion and commercialisation of the shea sector.

“At the heart of this initiative lies a profound respect for shea farmers and the transformative potential of the shea industry in creating sustainable livelihoods, particularly for women in the Northern Region. Recognising shea as a luxury product, the Expo seeks to elevate the status of shea farmers and their invaluable contributions to the global market,” he stated.

Mr. Tampuri disclosed that selected products from the World Shea Expo will be showcased in North America through the Canada Africa Trade and Innovation Expo 2024 in Ontario, Canada, on September 6 to 7, 2024, bolstered by the esteemed support of the World Superfoods Expo.

In 1973, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD)was granted exclusive control over the domestic and international marketing of shea nuts and shea butter.

However, recognising the potential benefits of private sector involvement, the COCOBOD opted to liberalise the marketing of shea nut and shea butter, thus fostering an environment conducive to private enterprise within the shea trade.

Presently, the export trade of shea nuts and shea butter exceeds 70,000 tons annually, boasting a substantial estimated value surpassing $112.6 million.

Efforts have been made by the GEPA under the leadership of Dr. Afua Asabea Asare to drive shea as a major foreign exchange earner as cocoa.

Nonetheless, a significant challenge to the sustained growth of the shea industry lies in the depletion of shea tree population in Ghana, and amidst this challenge, there exist a consistent surge in global demand for shea butter, driven by its versatile applications in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and the food industry.

This heightened demand has spurred renewed interest in shea cultivation across regions such as Northern, Ahafo, Eastern, and Volta.

The impact of the Expo on the local economy include generating employment opportunities for women and youth residing in the city and surrounding communities; promoting economic prosperity and wealth accumulation among the populace; facilitating market access across the entire shea value chain, and implementing brand-focused initiatives emphasising products proudly made in Ghana.

The Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, who will be the host, lauded the World Shea Expo 2024 initiative adding that it will create job opportunities for the people of the five regions of the north.

He was also of the view that the initiative will help eradicate poverty and create livelihood for women and businesses in the north.

Mr. Saibu assured that the Northern Regional Coordinating Council will fully support to ensure that the initiative is successful.

BY Eric Kombat, Tamale