By Gifty Arthur
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has held the 2nd Made-in-Ghana Bazaar Extravaganza under the theme “Promoting Made-in-Ghana Products Abroad” to promote local goods and services for worldwide recognition and foreign exchange.
The annual programme, is also to support the private sector, particularly Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) growth.
The three-day programme, organized at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) was aimed at boosting exports, creating more jobs, and strengthening the local currency, through earning more foreign exchange.
The programme which ended yesterday Sunday July 28, 2019, also provided a platform to enable the general public interact with the Ministry, affiliate ministries and agencies.
Sector Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, opening the bazaar said the initiative was a deliberate programme adopted to provide the needed platform to build linkages with various Diplomatic Missions, which share the same objective as Ghana’s.
It is an avenue to contribute towards economic growth and support President Akufo-Addo’s “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, aimed at shifting the country from depending on foreign aid for development.
“We also draw inspiration from His Excellency the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his vision of prosperous, self-reliant and forward-looking Ghana which is globally recognized; a Ghana beyond Aid” she stressed.
As part of the Ministry’s quest to support the private sector to grow, the Ministry, has procured Made-in-Ghana products for Diplomatic Missions abroad for national day events and for other promotional activities.
The Ministry’s mandate among others, is to promote the interest of Ghana abroad, including economic, trade, investment and tourism and also harness the immense potentials of a richly-endowed, peaceful, stable and democratic Ghana, the socio-economic development of its people.
“This is in line with the support offered by the Ministry to the private sector as the continued supply of free samples to all our Missions could have some financial impact on our SMEs and startups”.
The Supervising Director for the Ministry, Ambassador Sammie Eddico, said the Ministry also recognizes the importance of collaboration and has worked in partnership with various stakeholders, who reengaged in trade and investments activities to achieve this goal.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Exim Bank, Lawrence Agyinsam, said the Bank was happy to provide support for the programme and assured, it would continue to provide this assistance to key promoters to develop Ghana’s private sector by way of selling her goods and services globally.
He said, the initiative has been on the drawing board of successive governments, however, because of the challenges with the economy, it failed to come to fruition.
Mr Agyinsam, said the Bank was willing and ready to partner the Ministry for such laudable initiatives to move Ghana forward.
President of the National Chamber of Commerce, Dr Appiagyei Darkawoso, who spoke on behalf of the private sector called for greater collaboration between the various ministries and agencies.
His speech, which was read on his behalf by Josephine Okutu, said government support to the private would greatly be appreciated if incentives and waivers are strategically granted the sector to grow.
He went on by calling government to make deliberate efforts to purchase Made-in-Ghana goods, to grow the sector rapidly and build capacities.
A good number of exhibitors from all walks of life, thronged the AICC, to take advantage of the once in a year opportunity. There was authentic Ghanaian music from the likes of the Freedom Band, Amandzeba Nat Brew; to entertain patrons, so were Ghanaian dishes for patrons.