Participants at the forum
THE NATIONAL Coordination Office (NCO) of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has said it is making efforts to ensure that micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) would take advantage of the agreement to grow their businesses.
The NCO has, therefore, organised a day’s sensitisation workshop for about 120 women and youth-led MSMEs at Half-Assini, in the Jomoro District of the Western Region, to empower them to trade under the initiative.
It was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and supported by Jomoro Municipal Assembly.
The beneficiary MSMEs were taken through Ghana’s Implementation Arrangements for AfCFTA and Action Plan for boosting the country’s trade with the Africa Market Expansion Programme.
Representatives of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Standard Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority took turns to make presentations on the business support services they provide.
They also mentioned the requirements MSMEs needed to facilitate export trade under AfCFTA.
Sylvia Senu at the UNDP office in Accra, explained that there was a bigger and broader market the agreement had created which the participants are required to focus on to produce more.
She said the workshop was, therefore, to support women and youth-led businesses with export potential to take advantage of the agreement.
She disclosed that there will be export-readiness assessments and audits of the operations of all the MSMEs to identify their needs and ascertain what it would take for them to access the AfCFTA market.
“Those who are not ready would be given the requisite business development support to be able to take advantage of the initiative in future,” she added.
Ursula Tawiah, Western Regional Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), noted that her outfit was supporting those who were into the production of non-traditional export products, to also take advantage of the initiative.
Municipal Chief Executive for Jomoro, Louisa Iris Arde, was happy that the participants had understood the need to add value to their raw products for export.
FROM Emmanuel Opoku, Half Assini