MSMEs Applaud Ghana’s AfCFTA Office, UNDP For Education On Exporting To Other African Markets

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Officials Of Nco And A Cross Section Of Msmes In Kumasi Participating In The Nco Undp Training On Afcfta
Officials Of Nco And A Cross Section Of Msmes In Kumasi Participating In The Nco Undp Training On Afcfta

Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) have applauded Ghana’s National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO) and UNDP for equipping them with the requisite skill and understanding of the African Continental Free Trade Area in order to be able to take advantage of the Continental Trading Agreement to expand their market and grow their businesses.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, through the National AfCFTA Coordination Office in collaboration (NCO) in collaboration with the UNDP undertook intensive education of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Kumasi as part of their Market Expansion Project aimed at equipping MSMEs to harness the full benefit of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Several MSMEs who participated in the three (3) day training on AfCFTA applauded attested to now having a deeper understanding of the African market and what it will take them to build on their business and thus harness the benefits of the AfCFTA as a continental trading agreement.

Lydia, Sarfoa, an SME and MD of Sarfosco ventures, producers of star laundry soap said “I didn’t know much about AfCFTA but after this program, I’ve been able to know how to prepare, plan and know the various market opportunities available in Africa for Small Scale Industries like us” She expressed gratitude to the NCO and UNDP for the opportunity to understand the nuance of the AfCFTA.

Constance Bonsu, CEO of Constance Naturals couldn’t hide her joy of getting understanding into seeing her products on the shelves of shops in other African Countries. “I am elated because for the first time, I can see AfCFTA has really come home because we have been engaged and given forms with the promise that they will be coming to visit us. So now I can confidently say that yes, we are taking off on AfCFTA and yes, they have really come home to the small business entrepreneur and I hope they are going to live up to expectations on what they have inspired in us and we will be able to break through the continental market because of their interventions”. Said Constance, an SME who couldn’t hide her excitement.

Another SME, Benedicta Owusu, CEO of Benefoods and Consult admitted her initial ignorance about the AfCFTA until benefiting from the training by the NCO in partnership with UNDP. “I have heard so much about AfCFTA but I didn’t know how to position my business to take advantage of it. So, I am very grateful to the National AfCFTA Office and UNDP for this training.

Elizabeth Agyapong who is an SME involved in the manufacturing of organic skin care products believes that she is now well prepared to storm the African market with the training offered by the Ghana National AfCFTA Coordination Office (NCO). “We’ve heard a lot about AfCFTA but today’s meeting with the National AfCFTA Office and UNDP is so amazing, because our products were going into other African Markets without us knowing that we can actually do exports to those countries. We’ve learnt how to export and the right ways to pass to do a very good exports of our products to other African Markets. I have been very fortunate and thankful to be part of this training programme by the Ghana AfCFTA Office and UNDP.” She expressed.

According to Divine Kutortse, a Programme Officer at NCO and also the NCO/UNDP Project Officer, Aspiration 6 of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 envisions an Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of Africa’s people, especially women and youth. Furthermore, to broaden inclusiveness in the operation of the AfCFTA through interventions that support young Africans, women, and Small and Medium Enterprises as well as integrating informal cross-border traders into the formal economy is significant to implementing the simplified trade regime.

“Competitive youth-led firms have the potential to create more and better jobs, and foster production and trade of diversified goods and services across the continent, which, on the one hand, promotes access to a wide range of goods and services and increased income thus ultimately improving the lives of the African people”. The NCO Officer opined.

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