The Group Chairman of Ghanaian-owned beverage company Kasapreko Company Limited (KCL), Dr Kwabena Adjei has called for a more enhanced regional integration that will open up business opportunities for the private sector in the West African sub-region.
According to him, this will enable a positive atmosphere for private business to thrive in the region since Governments over the years have signed treaties that promotes trade amongst member countries.
Dr Adjei was speaking on the topic “The role of private sector in regional integration” at the recently-organized “Weizo Accra” event held at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel on July 3, 2015. Weizo Accra offers the top players in tourism in West Africa the opportunity to have a firsthand glimpse of the best tourism event in the region.
“The more business opportunities we create through regional integration, the more job opportunities we create for citizens across various countries in ECOWAS,” Dr Adjei stated.
The Kasapreko Founder cited his company an example of companies that has benefitted from regional integration despite challenges. Dr Adjei indicated that Kasapreko now employs close to 400 people in its head office in Ghana due to its expansion in Nigeria.
He added that “four years ago, we expanded into Nigeria by setting up a country office with a current staff strength of over 40 employees to support our import trade partners in that country for the marketing, sales and distribution of Alomo Bitters and recently Carnival Strawberry, Kalahari Bitters and Alomo Silver”.
“We expect to double our staff numbers in Nigeria over the next 12 months. We also have distributors in Burkina-Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Liberia who have also invested in man power to help run their distribution business,” he stated.
Dr Adjei encouraged trade amongst countries to create employment opportunities for people directly and indirectly.
However, he mentioned that local laws superseding that of ECOWAS, high tariffs, strict border controls, pockets of instability and weak dispute settlement mechanisms are some challenges hindering regional integration in the sub-region.
Dr Adjei opined that a flourishing private sector within regional integration will translate into numerous benefits to member countries in the areas of job creation, revenue generation, exchange of skill acquisition, economic stability and growth and promotion of culture and tradition ties amongst member states.