Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called on investors to take advantage of the potent mix of resource and natural appeal of the region to benefit fully from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
She explained that resources such as arable lands and scenic landscape, added to the Volta Region’s youthful population set the stage for industrial growth.
“The Volta Region’s makeup was a potent mix of resource and natural appeal, and that with needed strategic investments, the region can benefit from the growing continental free trade area,” Dr Lusigi said.
Dr Lusigi made the observation while addressing the launch the 6th Volta Trade and Investment Fair in Ho which is under the theme, “Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area for Local Economic Development.”
The fair is being organised by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in collaboration with the VRCC and partners including the Ghana Coordination Office of the AfCFTA.
Dr Lusigi expressed the need to work to ensure the fair continued to provide the opportunities for economic enhancement in the Region.
Dr Lusigi said UNDP remained active in helping Ghana achieve rural development, and listed a broad portfolio of support programs, including more than 2,000 acres of rice under climate-safe cultivation in the Volta Region.
She said the UNDP would work with various partners to enhance the continental free trade in four strategic areas including digital infrastructure, promoting agriculture, and the investment in human capital, and promoting tourism.
Dr Fareed Kwesi Arthur, National Coordinator of the Ghana National AfCFTA Coordination Office, who was also at the launch, said the trade and investment fair helped promote the ideals and relevance of the continental free trade.
He and assured all that the Office would work “very closely” with stakeholders “to make sure the fair was better.”
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the vision held to make Volta a production and exporting hub with the private sector at the center, and thus the fair was “another opportunity to showcase the pride in the strong potentials in the Region.”
He said it was important for all to take advantage of government’s efforts to create an environment favourable for local economic development, as industrialisation remained the driver of economic growth.
Mr. Dela Gadzanku, Chairman of the AGI in the Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions, said the trade event testified to the “exceptional collaboration” among the various partners, and commended the Regional Coordinating Council for entrusting the fair to the industrial association that is leading the private sector.
Mr. Gadzanku said as an established multi sectorial trade and investment platform for the Region, the fair would showcase, aside investment, the economic and cultural wealth of participating countries.
Mr. Gadzanku said an AfCFTA village would be established at the fairgrounds, adding, “the stage is set for participants to explore.”
Indigenous companies from Togo, Kenya, Nigeria, and India would be participating in the Fair, set to off from November 26 to December 10 at the Ho Sports Stadium.