The Central Region Trade, Tourism and Investment Fair aimed at stimulating business and economic activities in the region has been launched in Cape Coast.
Dubbed ‘CENTRAL EXPO 22’, the programme promises business opportunities and partnerships, networking, and job creation with the sole aim of projecting the potentials of the region and repositioning it for accelerated development.
The regional exhibition fair, which was first held in 1998 has returned after 24 years as an annual event with 500 anticipated exhibitors from all sectors across the region.
It would be held at the Adisadel Park in Cape Coast from Saturday, July 23 to Saturday, July 30, 2022, on the theme: “Promoting trade, tourism and investment in the Central Region - challenges, prospects and solutions.”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been scheduled to officially open the expo on Monday, July 25 with at least 32 expected missions and embassies gracing the event.
A plethora of activities including a float through Cape Coast, raffle draws, cultural exhibitions and a business forum at the Ridge Royal Hotel have been lined up to spice up the event.
The Central Region Coordinating Council (CRCC) and the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM) organisers of the fair have, therefore, assured the public of a very “exciting, eventful and successful” fair.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, launching the expo, explained that the event was in line with the RCC's Regional Development Strategy and Transformational Agenda.
She said the vision was to stimulate economic activities in different parts of the region and beyond, harness its economic potentials and attract private sector investments.
"It is my fervent hope and belief that corporate institutions and interested investors will take advantage of the business forum to discuss and identify possible business ventures and places to invest in the region,” she added.
The Minister encouraged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives to take keen interest in the exhibition by organising the exhibitors in their respective jurisdictions and publicising the possible investment opportunities in their areas.
She said it behoved on all stakeholders to position themselves to propel the region to it desired height.
“The strength we need to achieve this target is the strength that comes from collective leadership, solidarity and unity of purpose. We must all remain focused and committed in our effort to transform Central Region,” she charged.
Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, the President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs called on chiefs in the region to make available “trouble-free” and “litigation-free” lands for businesses and development projects.
He observed that land litigation was the bane of the region’s development, indicating that it continued to drive away investors and deny the region of its transformation.
"If we are looking at changing the narrative in the region and getting businesses to invest in our region, the chiefs must ensure that there are problem free lands available for these businesses to come in to drive the development agenda,” he said.
Odeefuo Buadu also lamented the poor road network in the region which he said was a major impediment for the development of the region.
“Our roads are bad and don’t give us a good foundation for development and economic growth. It is my appeal that the poor road network should be acted on speedily,” he remarked.
For his part, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the Oguaamanhen, who bemoaned the negative image of the region, urged all stakeholders to wholeheartedly support the expo for the development of the region.
“We are not doing it for ourselves but for the region. Let's expose the region for what it is and what it has. If you don't blow your own horn, nobody will,” he said.
DCOP Alexander Kwami Amenyo, the Central Regional Police Commander, assured of strict security to ward off miscreants and forestall criminal activities during the expo.
He said some 1,000 policemen would be deployed to provide security throughout the event.