The Executive Director of the Forestry Commission, Mr Alhassan N. Attah, has stated that the reactivation of the Ghana International Furniture and Woodworking Industry Exhibition (GIFEX) has the potential of making Ghana the hub of value added wood products in the sub-region.
"The time has come for us to take a new approach to save and move the industry forward," he stated, adding that the intention of the Forestry Commission was to once again make this biennial exhibition a regular affair in Ghana and for that matter in Africa.
At a press briefing last Friday, Mr Attah said the exhibition, which would commence on October 17 and end on October 26, 2008, would be broadened to include other sectors like IT and banking with emphasis on transfer of technology.
The exhibition, he noted, would also be used to mark 100 years of forestry by the Forestry Commission and 50 years of industrialisation by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in remembrance of their roles in emphasising the link that industrialisation and natural resources had in the country's growth.
Mr Attah said the exhibition would showcase woodworking machinery from manufacturers and the timber industry, as well as technologies in wood working where emphasis would be placed on value added products and the use of wood waste.
Some of the exhibitors from the service sector, he noted, included the banks, shipping, IT and insurance companies, architects and designers in wood and other material such as steel, glass and other non-timber forest products such as bamboo and rattan.
Others included research organisations, training institutions and professionals in related industries such as engineering.
The Director of Business Development Service of AGI, Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said the exhibition, apart from the wood products, would showcase a wide range of products from pharmaceutical, textile and other companies.
He said the platform was challenging but fl good opportunity for members of AGI to sell their brand and products to a wider market.
The exhibition has been categorised into two zones, with the first zone showcasing made-in-Ghana furnishing, imported furnishing, service industries, IT and communication industry and wood craft to meet tourists' needs and home decor.
The second zone will be characterised by conferences and seminars with topics ranging from forestry, finance and climate change and opportunities for investment in the forestry sector.
The exhibition is being supported by the Ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines; the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiatives; the Ghana Timber Millers Organisation; the Ghana Timber Association, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and the Export Development and Investment Fund.
Two sponsors - Ghana Commercial Bank and Ecobank - presented cheques for GH¢20,OOO and GH¢10,000 respectively to the organisers of the exhibition.
Source: Daily Graphic