Ghana’s mango, cassava and ICT sectors is set to receive a boost as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) suppliers in the sector are being connected to buyers in and outside the ECOWAS sub-region, through the West Africa Connect platform.
The move is part of efforts to promote regional trade and make it easy for consumers to access the market.
Speaking at the launch, Acting Director for Trade, ECOWAS Commission, Kolawola Sofola, highlighted the need to ensure that the potential of SMEs are tapped to allow them demonstrate the quality of their products and services.
“The West African Competitiveness Programme ((WACOMP) and the West Africa Connect 2022 are just illustrations of what ECOWAS is doing to promote the private sector and trade in the region,” he said.
The Industrial Development Officer, Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation at UNIDO, Rafik Fekithat also gave the assurance that his outfit would ensure the products were of high standard not only for the market. but the global market.
More than 160 suppliers from the 16 West African Countries were with more than 20 buyers from West Africa and other regions, were present at the launch.
The two-day event focused on creating linkages between mango, cassava and ICT value chain actors, while establishing new and durable business partnerships and increasing commercial transactions.
The event was also organized to strengthen the competitiveness of West African countries; improve the business environment and quality of the products sold and exported from the region, while complying with stringent market requirements on product safety, health and environmental impact.
Out of 302 million tons of cassava globally produced in 2020, more than half was produced in Africa. Also, on the African continent, 52 per cent of total cassava production is carried out in West Africa, Nigeria accounting for 23.4 per cent globally. In the mango sector, the ECOWAS region was the 7th mango-exporting origin worldwide with 90, 000 tons exported in 2019, with a market share of global trade rising to 5.1 per cent in 2020.