A sector group and governance structure for the successful implementation of the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) has been inaugurated in Accra.
The governance structure comprises the Inter-Ministerial Oversight Committee, the Steering Committee, the NEDS secretariat and the sector group.
A media release issued in Accra on April 14, 2022 said that the NEDS, spanning 10 years (2020-2029), sought to diversify and grow the Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector of the economy and employ a private-sector-driven approach.
It is expected to give a significant boost to Ghana’s export volumes by growing NTEs from US$2.8 billion (2020) to US$25.3 billion by 2029.
The initiative was unveiled by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Herbert Krapah, said the realisation of the target in the next decade demands strong collaboration between key implementing partners and players within the NTE sector.
He said the creation of the sector group to lead and implement the strategy for the 17 priority products areas was timely with the full implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The sector group and committee will share knowledge and experience on our ambition to add value to NTEs to rake in the US$25.3 billion. I am convinced that the successful implementation of the NEDS will quicken Ghana’s pace of taking full advantage of the AfCFTA,” he said.
According to the GEPA, the sector groups will monitor and implement the NEDS within their relevant sectors and provide feedback from the economic operators to GEPA.
The main role of the NEDS Steering Committee is to consider and streamline project implementation to technical issues, make recommendation to the inter-ministerial oversight committee, coordinate critical inputs from institutional providers and conduct advocacy as deemed fit.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, noted that Ghana’s enviable position as the secretariat of the AfCFTA imposed on Ghana an obligation to lead the rest of Africa in integrating economies and deepening regional trade efforts.
As a result, she said Ghana was obliged to redouble efforts to take full advantage of such an opportunity.
“What is required now is for all of us as key stakeholders in the export ecosystem to work together to pool resources and expertise in facilitating the work of our cherished exporters who are the ultimate beneficiaries of these trade regimes,” she said.
She said the NEDS Coordination Secretariat had been set up at GEPA to coordinate the implementation of the activities and actions of the strategy.
An amount of US$60 million will be invested annually under the NEDS to diversify and grow the country’s exports.
The strategy rests on three pillars: To expand and diversify the supply base for value added industrial export products and services; To improve the business, regulatory environment for export and to build and expand the required human capital for industrial export development and marketing.
Also, a set of 17 priority products will be developed based on some specific criteria aimed at transforming the economy from a raw material base to an industrialised one.
They are processed cocoa, cashew, horticultural products, oil seeds, fish and fishery products, textiles and garments and natural rubber sheets.
The rest are articles of plastic and other petrochemical products, services, pharmaceutical products, iron and steel products, automobiles and vehicles, industrial salt, machinery and components, industrial starch and sugar.