The new CEO of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has said the authority is serious about the ambitious US$10billion, four-year target it has set for the non-traditional export (NTEs) sector.
The new target follows a US$5billion, five-year target set in 2013, which is yet to be met.
The ambitious target, according Gifty Klenam, should see non-traditional exports –agriculture, handicraft and processed and semi-processed products – rake in US$4billion by year ending, from the $2.463 billion recorded in 2016.
“We, as an authority, are looking to raise some 10 billion dollars in the shortest possible time. It is doable but just that we are not getting the fundamentals right,” she told the B&FT in an interview.
“We have neglected the non-traditional export products for almost about 15years; no attention has been given to it,” she said, pledging to reverse the trend.
In 2013, a US$5billion, five-year target was set for the sector, but earnings dipped in 2016 by 2.3percent from the 2.55billion realised in 2015.
“What we are saying is that, we are now going back to the basics to address the backward integration and make sure that the right measures are put in place,” Gifty Klenam said.
“This time, the exporters will be in control of the products they want to market and will be part of the production as well. They will not sit in their offices with the hope that someone will produce for them.”
Ms Klenam pointed out that with the provision of adequate funding and support, the GEPA would be able to drive the anticipated increases in NTE revenue in 2017 and beyond.
She noted, that her current focus is to complete the restructuring of the internal operations of GEPA to provide the necessary resources for staff to enhance their capability to facilitate export trade.
She further disclosed that the GEPA had also come up with a new plan to help promote its work, taking a cue from the government’s flagship “One District, One factory” policy.
“We’ve also come up with ‘one district, one export’ which has to do with one identifiable export product in each of our over 200 districts to create the awareness for the need to promote the authority and its work, while generating more revenue for the state.
2017 Exporters’ Forum
As part of moves to rejuvenate Ghana’s export sector, and moving the Ghanaian economy from an import dependent to an export-led one, GEPA is organising the 77th National Exporters’ Forum on 4th October 2017.
The CEO of the GEPA Ms Klenam said the platform has been created over the years to bring exporters, export facilitation institutions and the entire exporter community together to dialogue on pertinent issues affecting the sector.
The Exporters’ Forum also provides the opportunity for finding ‘on-the-spot’ solutions to challenges exporters face in their business, while providing an avenue to inform and educate them on new programmes and policies relating to the export trade.
“It has become a flagship programme for the exporter community in Ghana because it provides one of the best opportunities for varied groups of people in the sector to congregate, share ideas and discuss ways of promoting exports in Ghana,” she added.
2016 Non-Traditional Exports (NTE)
Non-traditional exports saw a 2.3% decrease in 2016, fetching Ghana $2.463 billion compared to $2.55 billion in 2015.
Total earnings of non-traditional exports come from three sub-sectors – agriculture, handicraft and processed and semi-processed products like cocoa powder, cocoa paste, shea oil and canned tuna, among others.
Only the handicraft sub-sector recorded an increase in earnings of 22.25 percent, from US$4.27 million in 2015 to US$5.22 million.
Export earnings from agriculture in 2016 amounted to US$371.14 million, compared to US$396.91 million earned in 2015, representing a 6.49percent decrease.
The agriculture sub-sector accounted for 15.07% of the total earnings and an eight percent growth over a five-year period from 2012 to 2016.
Although earnings from the processed/semi-processed sub-sector decreased from US$2,120.50 million in 2015 to US$2,086.49 million, the sub-sector still remains the largest contributor to the sector, raking in 84.72% of total earnings in 2016.
There are more than 400 non-traditional export products categorised into agricultural, processed/semi-processed and handicrafts.