March 21, 2023

Maiden edition of Northern Trade, Industry and Investment Summit held in Tamale

The first edition of the Northern Trade, Industry and Investment Summit (NTIIS 2023) has ended in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.

The 5-day event, themed, “Improving Trade and Industry in Northern Ghana Through Capacity-Building and Investment,” was organized by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and other state agencies.

Addressing stakeholders at the opening ceremony held at the Tamale Jubilee Park on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, urged investors to pay attention to the Northern part of Ghana.

According to him, the Northern Ecological Zone (NSEZ) is yet to reach its full potential, despite being a production hub for various foodstuffs and other essential products.

He said, resourcing Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) to boost their processing capabilities will significantly raise the value of their products on the export market, raise their profit margins and help drive development across the nation.

Deputy CEO of GEPA, Albert Kassim Diwura, said GEPA is committed to facilitating the development and promotion of locally made products to boost Ghana’s revenue earnings through export.

He said GEPA is spearheading the implementation of the 10-year National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) under the Ministry of Trade and Industry to increase NTEs from $3.33 billion to $25.30 billion by 2029.

He said, GEPA, through its Youth In Export Programme (YiEP), empowers young people to venture into food production and export by providing funds and farm inputs.

YiEP, a 6-month mentorship programme is intended to build the capacity of young graduates to venture into the export trade, emphasizing agribusiness and crafts.

To help boost participation from Northern Ghana, Mr. Diwura noted that more young people from the NSEZ have been included as beneficiaries of the programme aimed at equipping them to become exporters.

“The ongoing phase 2 of the Youth In Export Programme was expanded to include over 50 young graduates out of 100 from Northern Ghana who are being mentored and trained in shea butter-based products, straw basket production, leather works and cashew production,” he added.

Mr. Diwura said the NTIIS presents an essential platform for businesses to connect and develop partnerships to boost their operations and make them more profitable.

With over 100 businesses participating, NTIIS 2023, according to CPD aims to empower the private sector through capacity-building, product expansion, export promotion and value addition of non-traditional exports to accelerate economic development.

Over 50 enterprises participated in the summit which involved the exhibition of various products and services as well as a business seminar.

The summit culminated in an awards ceremony held at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, in Tamale on Friday, March 17, 2023, where 21 individuals and organizations were recognized for their outstanding efforts toward advancing trade in Northern Ghana.

The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, was adjudged ‘Export Promotion Personality of the Year,’ while Bolgatanga-based handicraft maker, Paku Enterprise, was named ‘Exporter of the Year’.

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