March 25, 2022

Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, CEO of Ghana Export Promotion Authority receives African Female Leadership Impact Award in Dubai

The business of Export has in recent times (and more ever than before) been considered an essential arm in restructuring the economy to bring in the much needed foreign exchange, to balance a country’s trade transactions.

In a number of jurisdictions around the world, the business of Export is so crucial that the Head of the organisation sits in cabinet headed by the Head of State; typical case in point being Rwanda. This shows the level of importance placed on exports. A number of economies put enormous effort into strategically pushing their exports and tourist attractions to permeate other socio-cultural settings and create a perceived appetite.

In Ghana we are blessed to have key resources categorized as traditional exports i.e. precious minerals, logs & lumber, cocoa beans and oil. Beyond these items whose sources are ultimately finite, the Government of Ghana deemed it fit to task an organisation to develop and promote made in Ghana goods as an added means to grow and sustain international trade.

This has been the mandate of Ghana Export Promotion Authority established by Act 396 of 1969, under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, currently heads the Authority as Chief Executive Officer appointed by the President of the Republic of Ghana in 2017.

Since taking the mantle to lead the organisation, Dr Asare has made it a personal commitment to make the business of export rewarding and attractive to the youth including women owned businesses.

Ever so often, Dr. Asare would personally connect with an export product and put it in the spotlight of social media to give the business further prominence and extended mileage. Under her leadership, GEPA has worked closely with women groups providing logistics and capacity building interventions to enable them work more efficiently while expanding their product base. In other instances, Dr. Asabea Asare has created and works with Women’s Groups to mentor and coach young women to nurture their entrepreneurial interest. Women groups that have benefited from some of these interventions include:

  •  the Bongo Soe Shea Women’s Cooperative who benefited from over 400 Personal Protective Equipment to prevent snakebites when picking shea nuts
  • Abompe Bauxite Beads Production Association who have majority of their members as women and have benefited from a newly built workshop with machines to mechanise their beadmaking
  • several Women Owned Businesses who have access to monthly interactive sessions organised by the GEPA Impact Hub, presenting opportunities in the export sector and how they can take advantage of these.

In the last quarter of 2020, under Dr. Asare’s leadership  the National Export Development Strategy document was completed and  launched under the auspices of the Hon. Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and  Industry. This is a document that was worked on with close to 120 representatives drawn from private sector, government agencies and ministries, and civil society organisations with GEPA as the implementing partner.Image preview

The objective of the strategy is to provide a charted course as to how Ghana’s economy can strategically focus on key areas of export to achieve export earnings of USD25.3billion by 2029 and consequently drive Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.

Within the Strategy is a whole chapter dedicated to Gender, Youth and Disability. The sub-strategy within the National Export Development Strategy outlines advocacy for women’s access to resources that promotes their businesses and tailor-made capacity building programs for women in export.

In alignment with the Strategy, Dr Asare launched the Youth in Export project as yet another channel to encourage an expansion of the supply base of exports. Under this initiative, young persons with an interest and passion to engage in export are taken through theoretical and practical field training, and given a head start with equipment and necessary logistics to start out on their own.

Another area Dr Asare has been keen to tap into for the benefit of exporters, is the synergies of collaborating partners. The GEPA Impact Hub, a brainchild of Dr. Asabea Asare is a practical demonstration of how synergies among stakeholders provide Exporters with valuable trade information conveniently. The ultramodern facility has the Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority and the Plant Protection Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in one space, catering to the needs of existing and potential Exporters at the 9th floor of the Africa Trade House.

A recent addition to Dr Asare’s feats and a boost for the export of Ghana’s art & craft,  is the introduction of SoundOut to GEPA’s exhibition portfolio. SoundOut is an annual premium art festival that showcases the works of A-list Artistes. Previous editions held in 2020 and 2021 recorded remarkable patronage and reviews.

These projects and a number of other ongoing initiatives have gained Dr. Asare recognition at the 9th South America-Africa-Middle East-Asia Women’s Summit held at the Jumeriah Beach Hotel, Dubai under the theme “Forging and Adapting to New Realities for Greater Influence and Impact in a Rapidly Changing World” on March 25, 2022.

The award lends credence to the commitment Dr Asare demonstrates in using innovative means to further diversify and expand our export supply base especially providing support to Women Owned Businesses. The event will also see Dr. Asare being inducted into the Global Leaders Hall of Fame being named among the Top 100 Female Inspirational Leaders in the world.

For Dr. Asabea Asare, the honour is dedicated to women-owned businesses who are committed to breaking boundaries irrespective of bias and into new destinations.

The South America-Africa-Middle East-Asia Women Summit (SAMEAWS) is an annual summit that has been organized for eight years running by the Amazons Watch Magazine, bringing together influential and prominent women Leaders to re-emphasize their critical role in the future of developing economies.

About GEPA

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is the National Export Trade Support Institution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) responsible for the facilitation, development and promotion of Ghanaian exports.

GEPA is mandated to develop and promote Ghanaian exports with a primary focus on diversifying Ghana’s export base from the traditional Gold and other unprocessed minerals, Cocoa Beans, Timber Logs and Lumber. This is to ensure that Ghana’s export trade contributes to accelerated economic growth through strategic aggressive marketing of Made-in-Ghana products in the competitive global economy.

There are over 383 different Non-Traditional Export products categorised as Agricultural, Processed/Semi Processed and Handicrafts. Export Trade in Services is a new and recent addition to the non-traditional export portfolio.

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