Ms Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) says local industries have a critical role to play in government’s effort to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
She said with the right investment and support given them, the local industries would be able to add value to their products, produce in large quantities and ensure quality that meets international best practices to attract sustained markets.
The CEO said this when she visited and interacted with local industry players including producers and exporters in the Upper East Region as part of a working tour of the region.
Ms Asare indicated that some local industries had begun processing their raw products to add value to them before exporting and it was imperative to identify their major challenges and device strategies to tackle them to increase production and create jobs.
“Now things are not going in their raw form, they are being processed, everybody is trying to add value to their produce and that is what industrialization is all about.
“Adding value before sending it out and creating jobs for the people is what the government talked about and so I am happy to say that the government’s vision of industrialization is taking roots, the President made a good point when he decided that Ghana is going to be industrialized,” she said.
The CEO identified sustained markets as one major challenge confronting some local industries and indicated government through GEPA would work hard to provide the needed support and market avenues for the products being produced, to encourage production.
Ms Asare explained that GEPA existed to support and facilitate the efforts of the private sector to increase production, add value to ensure quality and provide reliable markets and therefore encouraged the youth to venture into local goods production.
The CEO indicated that the Upper East Region, for instance, had industries that were doing very well, discovering new products, adding value and diversifying. “Some of the products are quite new, we have to make sure that they get the right certification among others to go onto the international markets, it is not easy penetrating the international markets when you are not properly certified”.
The CEO who also interacted with women at Bongo-Soe in the Bongo District who are into shea butter processing pledged her outfit’s support to provide them with protective clothes, help connect one of their processing centres to electricity as well as help build a warehouse for them to store their finished products.
The CEO also visited the Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS-Ghana) production centres that are into the production of baobab products, shea butter processing and Sesame seeds.
Other places visited included the Minyila Sylvester Ventures, who are into production of varied oil using local seeds including groundnuts, papaya, moringa, baobab, sesame among others, the straw markets in Bolgatanga and the Savannah Baskets Weavers Association.
The industrial players appealed to government through GEPA to assist them to have easy access to certification of their products in the country and the international markets.