GEPA opens trade show to showcase processed fruits, cassava

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Ghana Export Promotion Authority

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has opened a three-day trade show in Accra to showcase processed fruits, cassava, cosmetics and other personal care products as part of efforts to improve their export to the European Union (EU) market.

Ghana Export Promotion AuthorityThe trade exhibition, dubbed: ‘The GEPA-WACOMP End-of-Year Trade Show’ started on Thursday at the forecourt of the National Theatre, and will end on Saturday, December 16.

It is under the auspices of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the West Africa Competitive Programme (WACOMP), funded by the EU.

Cassava, processed fruits, including mango and pineapples, as well as cosmetics and products in the personal care value chain are on exhibition.

Dr Afua Asabea Asare, the Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, in a speech read on her behalf at the opening, said the trade show aimed at enhancing the visibility of the products to the diplomatic missions, hotels, importers, exporters, retailers and the public.

Its ultimate goal is to improve the performance and growth of the priority value chains and related services of processed fruits by raising the calibre of the goods produced and exported to the EU markets.

“The beauty of what we see here today is as a result of years of hard work and collaborative efforts between the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and UNIDO- WACOMP, with funding support from the European Union,” she said.

Dr Asare commended UNIDO- WACOMP for partnering GEPA to exhibit the products, which were supported under the West Africa Competitive Programme, to enhance their visibility, boost their exports, and integrate them into regional and global value chains.

The exhibition would also promote intra-regional trade by increasing awareness of the high-quality goods produced in Ghana for home consumption and for export.

“This is particularly important because the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is now in full force, has presented every SME in Africa a great opportunity to take advantage of the huge market and export to every country on the African continent.”

“But this opportunity is meaningless if we do business as usual….”, she said, and called for deliberate efforts with every decision to tap into the huge market potentials.

“For us at GEPA, we are committed to driving the continuous development of Made-in-Ghana products and services and the competitiveness of our SMEs,” Dr Asare said.

She assured the exhibitors and clients of GEPA’s unwavering dedication to promoting their products both locally and internationally.

“We can assure you of even greater support next year, which promises to be a busy year for us”.

She reminded the gathering of the establishment of a Trade House in Kenya by GEPA to promote Ghanaian products and urged those yet to access its services to do so to enhance handholding and support.

Mr Joseph Yeboah, Project Coordinator and Networks Expert for Cassava Value Chain, WACOMP, said through the application of UNIDO’s 5Cs- Compete, Correct, Conform, Conduct and Coordinate – WACOMP had made significant progress on products packaging and branding amongst Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).

The UNIDO-WACOMP project, over the past three years, had supported 26,722 MSMEs in cosmetics and personal care products to enhance their capacities while over 4000 fruits producers and  processors received were assisted to implement good agricultural practices.

Madam Margo Pitora, who represented the EU Ambassador to Ghana, expressed the Union’s unflinching support to GEPA towards improving the standards of products exported to the European markets.

By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

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