The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is anticipating an export boom post COVID-19, and is therefore stocking its website with export educational materials aimed at training interested persons to understand the nuances of export.
According to the authority, the lockdown provides it with a great opportunity to empower many people who would want to take on export as a career or infuse export into their business operation models.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEPA, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, told the B&FT in an interview that after COVID-19 every country will have an equal export opportunity, and the authority is not only ready to assist Ghanaian businesses but also empower them to engage in export activities.
According to her, incentives from government are being channelled through the stimulus package for critical industries to produce essentials items to fight the virus. For her, these products and services will be equally needed by the international market post COVID-19, and local business must be ready to export.
She added that GEPA is hoping to build capacity of the youth to pick export as a career and offer assistance to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) who would need help in exporting their products post COVID-19.
“What this lockdown has shown us is the power of online learning. We are looking at how we can put some energy into our online school. We have the export school, and even before the coronavirus came we were looking at how we could push some of our learning online. We hope the youth can tap into these online programmes for beginners and help to build a bunch of young ones who will be interested in building a career in export,” Dr. Asare said.
“This is also an opportunity to sharpen the skills of persons who are already in the export business as well, and open their knowledge base on how to use modern technology to ease their work. We want export to be interesting and attractive to the youth as well as the adult population.”
She is hopeful that post COVID-19 the economy will see a boom in entrepreneurship, as many opportunities will avail themselves – especially in the agriculture sector.
GEPA, she noted, has already put in place some measures to increase its market share on the export market and attract foreign exchange into the country. It is currently supporting non-traditional commodities such as cashew, pineapple, okra, mango, vegetables, shea butter, chilli-pepper, yam and general agricultural produce for export.
Dr. Asare believes post COVID-19 provides a great opportunity to achieve its strategies. “After COVID-19, we want to take the world by storm; we want to increase our export earnings and change the nature of our economy. This is the best time to do it.
“The whole world is under lockdown, and after this storm everyone anywhere will have the same opportunity to enter the international market; we want to make our people ready, and now is the time to empower them. We are putting a lot of programmes online; there are many platforms that we can tap from,” she intimated.