BY MUNTALLA INUSAH | email@example.com
THE GOVERNMENT of the United States of American through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has shown the way by providing an opportunity for stakeholders to learn about the new tools, manuals and online portals to promote investment.
The prospects are enhance the exports of Ghanaian products by generating more income for its citizens, and also help the country to diversify its export base to high-value markets.
The Trade Africa event, an initiative of the American government, launched in 2013, is aimed at strengthening the US relationship with Africa, and to expand the US-African private and public sector collaboration to increase trade with and within the continent.
The event which brought together officials from the Government of Ghana and other partners in the business environment was on the theme “Enhancing Ghana’s Trade Competitiveness: Lessons from the Trade Africa Partnership.”
Since the Trade Africa imitative was instituted over two years ago, it has provided $10 million to support the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement, improve phytosanitary standards as well as help Ghana overcome technical barriers to trade, and support policies that promote regional trade and investment.
Supports to increase exports of Ghanaian goods
The USAID/Ghana Acting Mission Director, Steven E. Hendrix, delivered remarks on the importance of trade for Ghana, saying,“The U.S. government is proud to support the government through increased exports of Ghanaian goods and businesses to the world markets,” said Hendrix.
“We are working to make Ghanaian goods more competitive and increase opportunities for Ghanaian business to participate more fully in global value chains,” he added.
The deputy Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, has urged the United States International Development Agency (USAID), an American international development agency, to consider the needs of Ghanaians in its assistance package rather than the American point of view.
He commended USAID for its support for Ghana over the years across all sectors of the economy, but said it was time Ghana was made to decide where such assistance should be directed to.
“The USAID and our other donor partners, because we are moving beyond aid this time, we would appreciate if they take on the Ghana project instead of their projects. This is because USAID is handling a USAID project for Ghana, but can the USAID handle a Ghana project for Ghana?” he asked
In one initiative success, USAID supported the Ministry of Food and Agriculture vegetable export task force to improve quality standards in order to restore access by Ghanaian vegetable exporters to the European Union.
As a result, the EU intercepted only four shipments of horticultural products from Ghana in 2017, down from 330 in 2014 when the EU instituted a vegetable export ban.
In 2015, Ghana became a Trade Africa Expansion Country; in support of President Akufo-Addo’s vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid.”
This is a major pillar of the initiative is broadening access to markets and helping seek new export markets to encourage investment regimes, enhance two-way and intra-regional trade, and help Ghana move beyond foreign assistance to a relationship defined by trade.