…processed, semi-processed food & non-food items amount to 82% of total revenue
Data from the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) indicates that processed and semi-processed products sub-sector contributed US$ 2.105 billion to Non-Traditional Export (NTEs) revenues in 2017, representing 82.35 percent of the total NTEs revenues in that year.
This was followed by the agricultural sub-sector which contributed US$440.95 million whereas the industrial arts and crafts sub-sector generated US$10.41 million. These contributions brought the entire NTE sector’s revenue performance to US$2.557 billion, representing an increase of 3.81 percent as compared to the US$ 2.463 billion total sector revenue performance in 2016.
Data on NTE revenues for 2018 have not yet been made available.
The NTE sector’s performance represents an 18 percent contribution to Ghana’s total merchandise exports revenues in 2017.
According to the report, the improved performance in 2017 was as a result of the increase in exports of cocoa products such as cocoa paste and cocoa powder, which rose in value by 60.5 percent from US$542.3 million in 2016 to US$870.2 million in 2017.
It further added that the overall NTE revenues would have been higher, but for a sharp fall in the export of lubricating oil.
Aside the sharp fall in the export of lubricating oil, the activities of some freight forwarders is also said to be impeding the process of getting accurate export data. Last year, a sensitization programme carried out by GEPA revealed that a large proportion of Ghana’s NTE revenue data was under-declared by freight forwarders who lumped together most exports items and simply classified them as “others”. This practice, the authorities in the export value chain noted, is making it difficult to measure export data.
On average, the NTEs sector has been growing at an annual growth rate of just 1.22 percent. In 2018, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority announced a three-year developmental strategic intervention to increase the country’s export earnings from Non-Traditional Exports to US$5.3 billion by the year 2021.
But in the light of the most recent figures released – US$2.52 billion in 2015, US$2.46 billion in 2016 and US$2.55 billion in 2017 – the indications are that the Authority has a more than 50 percent gap to bridge in order to achieve the set target.
The Non-Traditional Export sector consists of three sub-sectors namely, Agriculture, Processed/Semi-Processed Products, and Industrial Art & Craft.
By Dundas Whigham