The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has called on the various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to mainstream the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) into their medium-term development plans as part of efforts to support local industries.
Dr Martin Akogti, the Zonal Director of GEPA in charge of Upper East and Upper West Regions, said the move would enable them to identify and support local industries to increase the production of at least one exportable product.
He said it would also help the Assemblies to create the necessary structures and enabling environment for producers and exporters within the export value chain, to add value to key non-traditional products to ensure quality that would attract local and international markets.
Dr Akogti said this at a capacity enhancement event on the implementation of the NEDS for producers and exporters of straw baskets and shea butter in Bolgatanga, Upper East Region.
It was organised by GEPA on the theme: “Driving export through the National Export Development Strategy.”
NEDS is a 10-year policy document, designed by GEPA and other relevant institutions meant to empower businesses in Ghana, especially those in Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) sector to diversify production and contribute to the country’s industrialisation agenda.
It seeks to build the capacities of exporters and businesses to increase production to significantly contribute to achieving the revenue target of at least US$25.3 billion by 2029.
Dr Akogti explained that the government was committed through the implementation of the NEDS to transform Ghana’s economy from an import dependency to an industrialised and export driven economy.
He said the contribution of the non-traditional exports to the growth of Ghana’s economy over the years had been enormous and there was the need for stakeholders, including the Assemblies to support producers and exporters to increase and add value to their products to rake in more revenue.
This, he said, would not only help to expand the supply base, create jobs and increase income levels of Ghanaians, especially the rural communities but would rake in more foreign exchange to help resolve trade imbalances.
He said basket and shea butter were key non-traditional products in the Bolgatanga Municipality that needed support to increase production and value addition and urged actors in the value chain to adhere to best practices.
“Huge numbers of vulnerable livelihoods depend on the Bolgatanga baskets and shea butter, so, we will continue to draw the attention of all who matter in the value chain to ensure that the sectors are properly developed to address unemployment, rural urban migration and poverty,” he added.
Ms Maria Baba, the Industrial Promotion Officer, Upper East Regional Office, Ministry of Trade and Industry, explained that apart from continuous capacity enhancement, the Ministry was committed to facilitating trade for Ghanaian producers and exporters and called for increased production to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Mr Rex Asanga, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, said one of the bottlenecks in the basket industry in the region was the inability of government to complete the Craft Village and appealed for support to complete it to ensure that the actors in the basket value chain were harmonised to increase production.