Stakeholders lament lack of direct exporters in Volta, Oti Regions 

By Samuel Akumatey, GNA  

Ho, April 18, GNA – Stakeholders in the export sector have lamented the absence of direct exporters in the Volta and Oti Regions. 

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Ghana Export Import Bank (EXIM) and others including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), brought up the situation at a breakfast meeting in Ho recently saying it affected the outlook of the heavy production enclave. 

Mr. Hanan Abdul Abubakari, Acting Manager of the EXIM Bank in the Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions, said efforts to identify direct exporters continued to prove futile, adding that only one existed and was based in the Oti Region. 

He shared how funds allocated for the export sector in the regions continued to lay dormant, and appealed to stakeholders to help entrepreneurs in the enclave cross the thresholds to export markets. 

Ms. Doris Bansah, Regional Director of GEPA, which organised the meeting, said among efforts to address the situation was the organisation of an export school for businesses in the Volta and Oti Region. 

She noted the need for enhanced linkages and collaboration among the various stakeholders, and said by working together, should be able to address the export sector’s “slow progress.” 

Mr. Alexander Dadzawa, Programs Director of GEPA, who graced the meeting, joined the conversation that sought to find ways to kick up the export sector in the two regions. 

He said the regions continued to expand potentials as an export hub, and that various players deserved commendation and support. 

The Programmes Director assured that the enclave would benefit from a coconut revitalisation project being undertaken by the Authority. 

GEPA is also organising the maiden edition of an African indigenous craft fair, the Adinkra International Arts and Crafts Fair which would be held from April 26 to May 06 in Aburi, and Mr. Dadzawa was hopeful the regions would be well represented. 

Mr. Chris Amponsah, GEPA’s Director of Public Relations, spoke on the 17 strategic export products, and encouraged industrialists to seek opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade regime to access markets on the Continent. 

Mr Amponsah said challenges with farm outgrowers was affecting the availability of industrial raw materials, and should be considered by stakeholders. 

Dela Gadzanku, Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries in the Volta and Oti Regions said the collective vision of the private sector was to make the enclave the most industrialised, and commended investors and stakeholders for revving up the economic landscape in recent times. 

He used the occasion to talk about the need for indigenes and Ghanaians as a whole to seek stakes in the budding economy, assuring that the Association continued to work closely with various actors in sustaining industrial growth. 

Mr. Augustus Awiti, the Volta Regional Coordinating Director, who chaired the meeting, charged various entrepreneurs and industrial groups to maintain close working relationships with GEPA in developing the export economy, and assured that the regional administration would provide the needed support.