Ho, Nov. 28, GNA – Dr Humphrey K. Ayim-Darke, President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), says Small and Medium-sized Entreprises (SMEs) were seedbeds of industry and would receive the necessary support from the Association.
« We consider our SMEs, the seedbeds of industry and we are determined to offer them the right support and policies to strengthen them to grow into giants that would thrive within the AfCFTA community in Africa ».
Dr Ayim-Darke speaking at the official opening ceremony of the Sixth Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho, said the AGI with years of participating in the business scope and advocacy had the right tools to support the SMEs in the Volta region to grow.
He said the AGI also believed it would be expedient to decentralise investment across the country, creating a fair distribution of economic opportunities to minimise the rural-urban drift.
The Fair underway at the Ho Jubilee Park is on the theme: « Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for Economic Development.
It began on November 26 and expected to end on December 10, 2023.
Dr Ayim-Darke said a visible partnership that encouraged heavy investment in the productive sectors must be forged as the countries in Africa came together to partner and bring significant transformation to the Volta region.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said Ghana must industrialise to create decent work and economic growth through local economic development as captured in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8, (Agenda 2030).
He said the Region could not progress and break out of the poverty cycle if it does not industrialise adding that « investing in industrialisation is one of the best ways of supporting the private sector ».
Dr Letsa said it was time they decided to allow the private sector, led by AGI, to champion the organisation of the Fair.
He said the job of government was to provide an enabling environment that was conducive for private sector growth, but it was the responsibility of the citizenry to take advantage of the environment created.
Togbe Patamia Dzekley VII, Paramount Chief of Battor Traditional Area noted that lack of capital especially for the youth and women as well as collateral for capital remained a problem nationwide.
He said stakeholders must be able to ensure that all targets and aims of the AfCFTA became a reality.
Dela Gadzanku, the Volta, Oti, and Eastern Regional Chairman of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), was of the hope that the 14-day would be fruitful.
He said 2023 was the year of accelerating the AfCFTA where the women and youth were at the centre adding that the Volta region was poised to play a significant role in taking full advantage of the Area.
Mr Eliphas Barine, Kenya’s High Commissioner to Ghana, on behalf of all Diplomatic Corps, noted that the success of the Fair would not have been possible if not for the individual efforts imputed.
He said the success of the event was for those who believed, committed, and kept their eyes on the ball irrespective of what was said or done.
The opening ceremony, which began with rain showers, could not prevent exhibitors and patrons, including students to witness the colourful event which displayed the country and region’s rich cultures.