The maiden edition of the Northern Trade, Industry and Investment summit, which began last Tuesday, has ended in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.
The aim of the summit was to create a platform for businesses to develop their capacity in the various sectors of trade and industry.
It also sought to showcase the vast business opportunities available in the north and link small businesses with investors through the exhibition of products and services and business seminars.
The event was on the theme: “Improving Trade, Industry and Investment in Northern Ghana Through Capacity Building”.
It was organised by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD), a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC), Ghana Enterprise Agency, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, and the Ghana Free Zones Authority, and funded by ADB Bank.
The Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who opened the summit, said even though there were abundant resources in the north, they were not fully tapped for the benefit of the people, due to capacity challenges.
He expressed optimism that the summit would help to address this challenge, by building the capacity of actors in the various value chains, while linking them to funding opportunities and investors.
He reiterated the commitment of the NRCC to ensuring the success of the summit, to help promote investment and business opportunities in the region.
For his part, the Executive Director of CPD, Ismail Yahuza, said the summit sought to bridge the investment gap between the north and south.
"The north has abundant resources that are untapped, both natural and human resources, so we are organising this programme to build the capacity of business owners and invite investors to come and see whatever we have, so that they can invest in the ecological zone,” he said.
He urged small-scale business owners in the five regions of the north to take advantage of the summit and showcase their products to potential customers and investors, stressing that the success of the event depended on the active participation of business owners and their willingness to explore the opportunities available in the region.
Mr Yahuza also called on investors to explore and take advantage of the potential investment opportunities in the region, as it was endowed with abundant resources.
Kenya's Commercial Attaché to Ghana, Gladys K. W. Kinyuah, lauded the organisers of the summit for the initiative in promoting economic growth and development in the country.
She, however, encouraged business owners to take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which offered opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and tap into new markets across the continent.