Accra, April 10, GNA - The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Nana Owusu-Afari has been elected a member of a seven-member council to steer the affairs of the Federation of West African Manufacturers Associations (FEWAMA) for the next two years.
FEWAMA is the regional body of West Africa Manufacturers Associations. It was established in 1988, but has been inactive for some time now.
During a meeting of the first ECOWAS Business Forum in 2007, the idea of reactivating the Federation was expressed by representatives of the Manufacturers Associations.
A statement from the AGI said the reactivation was deemed necessary in view of the critical role the Federation will play in the ECOWAS integration process, which is expected to facilitate industrial development in the West Africa Region.
The Private Sector Department of the ECOWAS Commission invited Manufacturers Associations of ECOWAS to various meetings, workshops and seminars which culminated in the revision and adoption of the Constitution of the Federation.
The principal objectives of the Federation include promoting integrated regional development of the industrial sector in the West African region, encouraging the sharing of information on production, technology and best manufacturing practices, and enhancing trade and exports of goods manufactured within the region.
Others are the creation of synergies for the effective establishment of an advocacy mechanism to raise awareness among governments in the region towards protecting local industries, drumming up of support among the various governments within the region for the development of the required infrastructure which will contribute to the development of the region and build a platform for settling disputes by arbitration within the organisations that comprise members of the Federation.
The statement said as a key player in the Federation, AGI and its members, and for that matter Ghana, would benefit enormously from the increased trade within the region, business networking, information sharing, joint venture projects, and development of common industrial policy for the West African Sub region.
ECOWAS countries, with a population of nearly 300 million, presents a large market for Ghanaian manufactured products.
The Federation is expected to facilitate the free movement of people and goods within the Sub-region with special reference to the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme.