Ho, Dec. 05, GNA – The AfCFTA desk at the ongoing Volta Trade and Investment Fair has engaged nearly 100 businesses within the first week of the event, which have signed up for membership.
Mr Divine Kutortse, the Programme Officer for Enterprise Development and Support at the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, heading a desk at the fair, told the Ghana News Agency, that more than 90 businesses had signed up, and were being taken through preparations towards the attainment of the coveted Certificate of Origin.
He said many of the businesses trooped in during the Farmer’s Day Holiday.
“There were lots of local producers here, and raw materials are an important part of AfCFTA, therefore we promote the local value chain, because to get their involvement is important to us,” he said.
Processes leading up to the attainment of the Certificate included capacity building to improve packaging and other components of trade requirements, and beneficiaries would receive training in negotiating and other skills needed.
The AfCFTA would also support them to attain some financial support.
Mr Kutortse, who is also the Programme Officer in charge of Trades and Finance, noted how some businesses in the Region were already exporting to countries even outside Africa, and said a prior regional sensitisation helped created a database of potential enterprises in the Region.
He said more than 300 enterprises have signed up so far in the Region, that Volta’s interest in the continental free trade initiative was refreshing for a region that had so much investment potential.
“It’s a sign that Volta should be the leader in AfCFTA. Looking at the produce and the farmlands, they are ripe for AfCFTA,” Mr Kutortse stated.
He described how local produce from the country had gained acceptance across the African Continent and said commodities such as shea butter topped favourites in such African Giants as Kenya.
“We want to see more local businesses take advantage of the AfCFTA in Volta. We encourage them to add value to their products and pay attention to packaging”.
An AfCFTA desk has been created at the Volta Regional Coordination Council (VRCC) and at the offices of the Food and Drug Authority, and the Ghana Standards Authority to support businesses.
The 2023 Volta Trade and Investment fair is the sixth instalment of what has become the most popular regional fair in the country, and more than 400 exhibitors and thousands of patrons are partaking.
It is being organised by the Association of Ghana Industries, the VRCC, and the AfCFTA on the theme: “Leveraging the AfCFTA for Economic Development,” and is running from November 26 to December 10, 2023, at the Ho Jubilee Park.