Unlocking Africa’s production and trade potential: Ghana-Kenya Expo spotlights the AfCFTA as the continent’s path to prosperity
June 2, 2023
Nairobi, 30 May 2023 - The Ghana-Kenya Market Entry Expo, held from 23 to 27 May 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya, proved to be a pioneer event for bolstering bilateral trade ties and accelerating the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement. The Ghana Trade House was also officially opened to facilitate the entry of Made-in-Ghana goods into Kenya and the larger East African market.
The Expo showcased a diversity of value-added products – cosmetics, textiles and clothing, leather, and agro-processed goods – made in Ghana by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), the majority of which are owned by women and youth. In addition, the Expo enabled business-to-business engagements to promote the distribution of Ghanaian goods in the Kenyan/East African market.
Technical discussions highlighted the transformative power of trade to drive continental integration and economic growth, emphasizing the need for a new kind of trade facilitation, that is MSMEs-centered, and boosts their capacity to produce and trade for the African market.
Hon. Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, stated, "Making a major move like this was very long overdue and for us it is such a joy to bring about 60 manufacturers from Ghana to Kenya, to see them able to make sales, to see Kenyans interested in products manufactured in Ghana and most importantly, the manufacturers finding distributors and agents here in Kenya.”
UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Angela Lusigi, highlighted the significance of the expo in advancing AfCFTA implementation. “The Expo served as a demonstration of our collective efforts towards fostering economic integration and driving sustainable development in Africa. This is truly the AfCFTA in action,” she said.
Exhibitors at the Expo also expressed their appreciation for the platform it provided to expand their reach and tap into new markets. Florence Cossou Tomaza a young woman entrepreneur making agro – processed products such as honey and tea, remarked: "I have been aspiring to enter the East African market, and the Ghana-Kenya Expo presented a fantastic opportunity for me to connect and assess the market. It’s been an invaluable platform to gain insights and forge meaningful connections."
The Ghana-Kenya Market Entry Expo was organized by the National AfCFTA Coordination Office in Ghana, with support from the World Bank Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP), UNDP, and the Deutsche Gesellschaftfür International Zusammenarbei (GIZ). This partnership was instrumental in ensuring the success of the event and its alignment with the objectives of the AfCFTA.
The Expo laid a strong foundation for fostering trade partnerships, increasing market access, and promoting economic growth between Ghana and Kenya, as well as East and West Africa. In this year of ‘Acceleration of Implementation of the AfCFTA’, it serves as a testament to the continent's determination to harness its vast potential and build a prosperous future through increased trade integration.
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