Grace Mimi Antwi

Ghana has made its first significant showing in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area with its first trading between a Ghanaian-based manufacturer and Kenya.

The KEDA Ceramics Company Limited, producers of Twyford Ceramic Tiles in the Shama District of the Western Region, made its first sale to Kenya under AfCFTA protocols in the second week of October 2022.

The AfCFTA Secretariat made the disclosure introducing business clusters in the Ashanti Region to the trading hub; which is expected to facilitate and limit customs barriers to trading among African Countries.

Senior Programs Officer for Capacity Building and Stakeholder Engagement Grace Mimi Antwi Asante told GHONE NEWS, Keda Ceramics met all requirements, having sourced materials for production from the continent and traded with another African country.

Keda qualified with its rules of origin because it sourced the materials it used from African Region so it was able to export and enjoy the tariff waivers under AfCFTA.

She assured that the AfCFTA Coordination Office is working on the National AfCFTA Policy Framework which encompasses trade policies, trade infrastructure, trade finance and enhancing production capacity to aid Ghana to implement and accept the AfCFTA agreement.

The forum for businesses with export capacity, held by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, saw a different cluster of Kumasi-based businesses in attendance.

The Authority is using these platforms to shore up Ghana’s trading position as the country ventures the African Continental Free Trade Area with its Nontraditional Export Commodities.

Deputy zonal director for Ashanti, Ahafo, Bono, and Bono East Regions Francis Fosu Kwarkye was positive the success stories give a further push to Ghana’s Non-Traditional Export Development Strategy.

“We are on a ten-year strategy to achieve a substantial increase in Non-Traditional Export Value where we are targeting to raise some 25.3 billion dollars. It involves everyone in the country so we are devolving these regional sensitizations from the regional to the district level to create awareness among businesses.”

Speaking to reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, some Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in production and manufacturing in Kumasi however pointed to their inability to raise slow capital to invest in the right industrial machines needed to ramp up their production capacity.

CEO of IFOK Footwear Company Limited, Emmanuel Atakora Manu explained: “the world is at the industry 4.0 where production is being automated to improve efficiency for output. I think the government should come in to help us and this will expand our production, automate our processes and ultimately increase our sales volumes.”

The campaign to get more SMEs involved in exports is expected to create jobs; expand Ghana’s economy and generate the foreign exchange needed to support the value of the Ghana Cedi.

By; Ivan Heathcote – Fumador