The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ms Gifty Kekeli Klenam, has charged chief executives of metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to reposition themselves to attract investors into their jurisdictions.
She charged them to pursue the objective to produce an exportable product in their districts and municipalities as part of a national export strategy under the “one district, one exportable product” concept.
Ms Klenam was addressing district chief executives (DCEs), district coordinating directors (DCDs) and relevant stakeholders from the 25 districts in the Volta Region in Ho to sensitise them to the implementation of the National Export Strategy.
Export target in five years
She said the GEPA had repositioned itself to generate $10 billion from exports within the next five years, and asked MMDAs to take the strategy seriously, as the districts were the base of non-traditional exports.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, said the concept was in tandem with the one district, one factory policy of the government which would also lead to wealth creation as well as generate significant foreign exchange to boost the economy.
He said the opportunities available in each district had been listed for prospective investors, adding that cassava topped the list as the most needed raw material for the production of ethanol, starch and other by-products.
Extension as a critical tool
Speaking on extension services as a critical tool for supporting production of quality products for the export market, the Ho Municipal Director of Extension Services, Mr Theophilus Owusu, said there were only 180 extension officers in the region instead of the 400 required.
Mr Owusu stressed that it was only when that was done that targeted volumes and standard products could be achieved to attain export targets.
Speaking on implementation of national export strategy vis-à-vis “one district one exportable product”, the Director of Research and Information at GEPA, Mr Maxwell Osei Kusi, said versatile marketable products should be identified for consumption locally and for export.
He said export trade centres would be established in foreign markets for the distribution of goods in the export chain, adding that 23 projects would be executed in five thematic areas.
Mr Kusi said processing of cocoa, fruits, vegetables, root crops, fresh chilled and frozen fish, vegetable oil, apparel, creative arts, jewellery, medical tourism and the service sector had been identified to be packaged for export and urged district assemblies to prepare the way for private businesses to buy into their proposals.