As the implementation of the first phase of Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) approaches, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has supported exporters to promote and sell made-in-Ghana products in Ethiopia.
The move is expected to enable Ghanaian exporters in the textile sector have the needed platform to enable them take optimal advantage of the impending pan continental single market. This formed part of activities marking Ghana’s 63rd independence anniversary celebrations organized in collaboration with the Ghana Embassy in Ethiopia.
This was during a 5-day exhibition and bazaar held in Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa from March 2nd to March 7th 2020. In all, about 12 companies in various sectors, covering processed cocoa products, Shea butter, crafts, Afrocentric wear, and over the counter skin care medicaments among other sectors, took part.
Brisk sales and business took place even during the opening ceremony. Many of the businesses were seeking distributors of Made-in-Ghana products, particularly chocolate, Shea, fabrics and crafts.
With the operationalization of AfCFTA), this has given Ghana the opportunity to boost its garments industry and reverse the negative growth rates it has recorded in the sector.
Ghana’s garment industry recorded a growth rate of 15.1 percent in 2008, but this dropped to 0.8 and 0.3 percent in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Subsequently, the sector recorded a contraction of 1.4 percent in 2016. What this means is that Ghana’s garment industry has been declining in what is proving to be a sustained recession.
Currently, the combined apparel and footwear market in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be worth around US$31 billion. Under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), Ghana exported about US$30 million and US$29 million worth of garments in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
The value of the global fashion industry is estimated to be around US$2.4 trillion, with an annual growth of 5.5 percent. Africa accounts for below 5 percent of this value, while Asia and the USA share 80 percent of the market.
Last year, GEPA supported the Embassy at the 62nd Independence event. Companies like GIHOC secured distributors for their products in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia, has a strong presence of all the African countries. Consequently, it has become a good platform to promote made-in-Ghana products all around Africa.
The event therefore promises to be a good preparation for Ghana as it prepares to trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
The opening ceremony brought together Ambassadors of the various African countries, the African Union (AU) Commission, United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom and other countries.