June 29, 2023

GEPA opens maiden WACOMP Made-in-ECOWAS Exhibition in Accra

The maiden edition of the WACOMP Made-in-ECOWAS Exhibition has officially commenced in Accra under the theme “Enhancing Intra-regional Trade to Empower Local Industries.”

Over 60 MSMEs operating in the processed fruits, cassava, and cosmetics sectors will showcase their products and services from the 29th of June to the 1st of July at the forecourt of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) office complex.

The WACOMP Made-in-ECOWAS exhibition is being organized by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) with support from the European Union (EU) and UNIDO as part of the West African Competitiveness Programme.

In her opening address, the CEO of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, reiterated GEPA’s commitment to supporting local manufacturers to be able to compete globally.

She highlighted initiatives undertaken by GEPA to support SMEs to market their products across Africa, such as the opening of the Ghana Trade House in Kenya, the Women Icons Exhibitions, and GEPA’s Impact Hub, which provides IT and other business solutions for free to Ghanaian exporters.

Dr. Asabea Asare expressed confidence that the initiative will boost the performance of locally-produced processed fruits (particularly mango and pineapple), cassava, as well as cosmetics and personal care products under the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“This exhibition will, among other things, promote intra-regional trade by increasing awareness of the high-quality goods produced in West African nations and by making it easier to source components and raw materials from the region to support domestic processing and manufacture. This is particularly important because the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has presented every SME in Africa with a great opportunity. But this opportunity is meaningless if we take things easy and go about business as we have in the past. Business is not, as usual, any more, we must be deliberate with every decision and step we take, taking into account the huge market potential and benefits.”

The Chief Technical Advisor for WACOMP, Dr. Charles Sackey, encouraged SMEs to build networks to increase exports to new markets.

He made reference to instances where some Ghanaian manufacturers managed to secure strategic partnerships with foreign companies while showcasing their products at trade fairs.

The West Africa Competitiveness Programme, which began rolling out in 2019, aims to support selected value chains at the national and regional levels to promote structural transformation and better access to regional and international markets while taking into account social and environmental concerns.

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