GEPA to meet District Assemblies on 'one district, one export product'
Accra, June 5, GNA - The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is to work with the various district assemblies to identify exportable products within their localities as part of measures to boost non-traditional exports.
As a first step, GEPA would hold sensitisation meetings with the officials of the metropolitan, municipal and districts assemblies, including members of Parliament, across the country to see how they could move forward with the programme.
The first of such meetings will be held in the Eastern Region on Wednesday to help accelerate exports at the district level.
Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, said the move was in line with the implementation of the National Export Strategy (NES) and dovetails into government's one district, one factory programme.
Under the Export strategy, the 216 districts in the country were tasked to identify at least one significant commercial viable export product to help accelerate the growth of the non-traditional export sector.
The export strategy aimed to put Ghana on the global map as a world class exporter of competitive products and services.
'We believe that each district can identify one exportable product, which GEPA could facilitate as an export oriented commodity just to ensure that the sustainability of export is real,' Ms Klenam said.
Ms Klenam said as much as the Strategy was targeting production for exports, the produce could also be used for value addition to support and strengthen the raw material base for the factories that would spring up under the one district one factory programme.
'We believe that it is not all the produce that we'll be used for exports, it can also be used for the value addition to ensure that the raw material base is strengthened for the factories,' she said.
On his part, Mr Eric Twum, the Deputy Chief Executive, said there is no conflict between the government's one district one factory and what GEPA is doing under the NES in which the districts had been tasked to identify a product in which they have the competitive advantage to produce for export.
'What we are going to do on Wednesday is to have a conversation with the officials of the various districts plus the Members of Parliament to agree on a framework of those exportable products, which invariably will lead to servicing the one district one factory,' he said.
Mr Twum said GEPA would serve as the facilitation authority to support the districts in areas such as market access, packaging and quality related information.
He said GEPA's move was to create a collaborative framework in each district and not limiting them to one product but also supports individuals who have unique products to export.
Mr Twum said already 11 projects teams had been set up to concentrate on the 11 priority products identified, adding that there would be first time support to the various districts when it comes to the products.
He said other measures to boost NTEs included setting up regional offices in all the 10 regions of the country, the establishment of technical services teams to offer real-time technical advice and support to farmers, producers and exporters.