The Ghana Export Promotion Authority, in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Institute of Export and International Trade (IoE&IT), on Thursday launched its maiden Diploma in International Trade Modular Programme in Accra.
The one-year online programme is aimed at providing participants with opportunities to understand how to trade internationally; how to develop the capability to manage, formulate strategic options and define business winning plans in an international trade environment.
Dr Afua Asabea Asare, Chief Executive Officer, GEPA, said the launch of the programme through the collaborative efforts of the ITC and IoE&IT gave credence to the importance GEPA attached to human resource development to support economic growth.
She said in the last quarter of 2020, GEPA launched the National Export Development Strategy to enable Ghana attain export revenues of USD25.3 billion by 2029, adding that the success of the plan hinged on three pillars of building and expanding the required human capital for industrial export development and marketing.
Dr Asare said the plan involved upgrading GEPA’s Export School as an accredited tertiary institution to provide capacity building initiatives for Exporters to reflect the human resource needs to address Ghana’s effort towards an export-oriented industrialized economy.
She said the expected outcome of the pillar was to have a substantial number of trained men and women engaged in the industrial export of products and services in value chains countrywide.
She noted that the launch of the programme would serve as one of the many building blocks in the third pillar of Ghana’s National Export Development Strategy.
“In an era where the AfCFTA continues to trend and dominate in trade discussions, more work needs to be done to prepare and encourage SMEs to tap into the benefits of AfCFTA. In order for business of all sizes to reap the benefits of the agreement, clarity, consistency and transparency are essential ingredients.”
Dr Asare said both ITC and IoE&IT were ensuring that trading between partner countries was competitive by providing access to pragmatic, topical learning materials and practical business support services for skills development.
She said “as an agency mandated to develop and promote Made in Ghana goods and services, GEPA’s advisory role has become more challenging and complex occasioned by the kick-off of the AfCFTA and the global turbulence of the past year and still ongoing.”
She said GEPA was optimistic that the programme would be a welcoming news for participants who desired getting ahead of the game in the business of export.
“We believe that it is only by empowering our SMEs and MSMEs to be globally competitive and building a resilient internal dynamic that we can talk about building their productive capacity to integrate global value chains and take advantage of trade opportunities externally.
She, therefore, encouraged participants to sign up for the programme as it would give them a wealth of opportunities to understand how to trade internationally; how to develop the capability to manage, formulate strategic options and define business winning plans in an international trade environment.
Madam Pamela Coke –Hamilton, Executive Director, ITC said it was part of ITC’s ongoing commitment to help Ghana diversify and improve the quality of its export operations, and this collaboration was an opportunity to work with Ghana to expand trading opportunities across Africa and the developing world.
“This is why we are very happy to select Ghana as the first country to implement this new international diploma and with a partner like GEPA with the combination of professionalism, skill and enthusiasm for this project we know it would be a success.”
She said the programme would look at the fundamentals of export skills including; international marketing, logistics, trade finance and custom formalities.
Madan Coke-Hamilton noted that the internationally recognized content was tailored not just as an African or developing country context, but a Ghanaian one to ensure relevance to the situation of learners in Ghana.
“The initial pilot phase of the programme was launched in August last year with 25 learners selected for the first model entitled the business environment, and 21 out of the 25 participants completed the training”
Mr Marco Forgione, Director General IoE&IT, said the objective of the programme was to enhance the professionalization of international trade.
He said the commitment was made not just for economic benefit, but that through such trainings, corporation and collaborations nations could face up to the challenges of social justice and environmental sustainability.
Mr Albert Kassim Diwura, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GEPA, said the course was in two folds, the theoretical aspect which would be taught online, and the practical aspect, which would be done by GEPA.
He said the entire programme was in four modules and already 21 students had graduated from the first module, adding that the launch was to enroll the second batch opened to Ghanaians and international students.
“ITC is providing the platform while the IoE&IT is providing the theoretical aspects, that is the lecture, and GEPA is also providing the students support and the practical aspect of it.”
Mr Diruwa assured that GEPA would take full advantage of the training by not only looking at the product aspect, but also the capacity building aspect in order to sharpen skills to be able to compete favourably with the rest of the world.