The Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector of Ghana’s economy has seen considerable growth in revenue over the last decade, Kobina Ade-Coker, Board Chairman, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has disclosed.
Mr Ade-Coker, who was delivering the welcome address at the media launch of the 2015 NTE Statistics in Accra, yesterday, said the growth was attributable to the efforts of GEPA in designing programmes and activities aimed at facilitating, developing and promoting Ghana’s NTEs.
He cited the provision of market information to the exporter community, delivery of market penetration assistance to exporters, initiation of product development programmes, the capacity-building of exporters and the development of national export awareness as notable among the programmes and activities of GEPA.
He said it was his expectation that the NTE sector would increase its contribution to the overall export revenue basket of Ghana from the present 19 per cent to at least 30 per cent.
Mr Ade-Coker, therefore, urged all stakeholders, including government and the exporters themselves, to strive to move the sector to realize its full potential.
Presenting the highlights of the 2015 NTE Statistics, Mr James Tigah, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GEPA, disclosed that the National Export Strategy, which was launched in 2013 by government, aimed to increase the level of export revenue from the NTE sector to US $ 5 billion in five years, with the overall objective of developing the potential of the sector for maximum contribution to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Mr Tiga said in order to generate the US$5 billion from NTEs within the 5-year strategy period, eleven priority product sectors were identified and recommended for aggressive support.
These product sectors, he said, included cocoa products, cashew nuts, horticultural products (pineapples, mangoes and vegetables), fish and shea nuts.
He mentioned root crops (yam, cassava and sweet potato), oil palm and crafts as other product sectors recommended for support.
In addition, he said, textiles and garments, gold jewelry and services (medical tourism, higher education and business process outsourcing) were also targeted for support.
According to Mr Tiga, in line with the National Export Strategy, A Project Co-ordination and Management Unit had been established at GEPA to oversee the implementation of the strategy while a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed with the Rural Enterprise Programme (REP) to set up District Level Committees to assist in selecting the district level products.
In addition, he said a new organizational structure for GEPA to ensure the effective implementation of NES had been drafted while the mapping of products and exporters under the National Traceability System to assure buyers of Ghanaian products of the quality of Ghana’s products on the international market were on-going.
Furthermore, he said the development of a Market Hub within the GEPA to provide up-to-date trade/market information to Ghanaian exporters and buyers of Ghanaian products were on-going.
Mr Tiga disclosed that to assure buyers of Ghanaian products about the quality of those products on the international markets, the United Nations International Development Organization (UNIDO) and TRAQUE Project had extended support to three Ghanaian export certification bodies, namely the Food and Drugs Authority, Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Division (PPRSD) and the Ghana Standards Authority, to enhance their export quality certification processes.