Made-In-Ghana Bazaar to facilitate penetration of Ghanaian products into foreign markets

The Made-In-Ghana Bazaar has an ultimate goal of facilitating the penetration of Ghanaian products and services into foreign markets using the network of Ghana’s Missions abroad.

Madam Mavis Nkansah Boadu, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in-charge of Finance and Administration, said that would invariably support the growth of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) and provide them the impetus to expand their reach into markets including that of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

She said this at the opening of the Third Made-In-Ghana Bazaar on the theme: ‘Promoting Made-In-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’, being organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Other supporting organisations are the Ghana Export Promotions Authority, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Association of Ghana Industries.

The Baza
ar seeks to promote Ghanaian products internationally, using the network of Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions.

It is a flagship programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, launched in 2018, following the Government’s decision to re-establish the Economic, Trade and Investment Bureau of the Ministry in 2017, pursuant to its economic and industrial transformation agenda.

The Bazaar brings together more than 150 exhibitors, and the products on display represent some of Ghana’s iconic offerings in the local and international markets.

The products on exhibition range from traditional crafts and artisanal works to manufactured products with cutting-edge technology.

Madam Boadu said the Ministry had executed its economic diplomacy agenda with its diplomatic missions abroad and partner institutions, by assisting Ghanaian businesses to access foreign markets with their goods and services.

It provides trade and consular advisory services to Ghanaian businesses and facilitates the resolution of
trade misunderstanding and conflicts between Ghanaian businesses and their foreign partners.

She reiterated that the agenda would be pursued to identify more markets for Ghanaian products and services.

‘It is in light of this that this Bazaar is being held with the view of compiling data on all our exhibitors and circulate same to Ghana Missions abroad as well as Diplomatic Missions accredited to the Republic of Ghana to help identify market for them and expand their reach,’ Madam Boadu said.

The potential of strategic economic diplomacy had become so evident today that States were seen increasing collaboration between State and non-State actors, increasing importance to World Trade Organisation (WTO) issues and the continuous negotiation of free trade and preferential trade agreements, she said.

Countries had also centered their diplomatic engagements around economic diplomacy where Ministries of Foreign Affairs were forging stronger ties with the private sector to attract the needed foreign direct inves
tment into their countries.

‘It is in this vein that the chosen theme for the Bazaar ‘Promoting Made-in-Ghana Goods and Services for Economic Prosperity’ is apt, as it is strategically designed to harness the innovative efforts of our micro, small and medium size businesses (SMEs).

Madam Boadu said the AfCFTA framework had provided a unique opportunity for intra-African trade and Ghana was at the forefront of implementing that agreement.

Aside hosting its Secretariat, Ghana had been able to trade with a few African countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and South Africa under the AfCFTA Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), launched in October 2022 to pilot the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement.

Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond, the Minister of Trade and Industry, who opened the Bazaar, called on Ghanaians to patronise Made-In-Ghana products.

‘I encourage each of you to patronize these Made-in-Ghana products and services, not just out of functionality and price but also with a sense of pride and patriotism,’
he said.

‘By supporting your local businesses and artisans, you are not only satisfying your needs, but also investing in the local economy and strengthening as well as preserving our productive sectors for future generations.’

‘Every purchase made here today helps to sustain livelihoods and promote productivity and sustainability in our communities.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Tema Traditional Council cautions VALCO against alleged plans to lay workers off

The Tema Traditional Council (TTC) has cautioned management of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) against alleged plans to lay off some 45 residents of Tema Manhean employed not long ago.

Nii Armah Soumponu II, the Stool Secretary, and Tema Shipi, giving the caution at a news conference, indicated that they had picked up signals of plans to lay off the said workers, who are made up of both indigenes and non-indigenes.

He explained that the workers were employed by Mr. Daniel Titus Glover, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, who was then the Chief Executive Officer VALCO.

According to him, the opportunities created for the 45 residents helped reduce tension in the town, as before their employment, the youth were unhappy about the inability of the industries in Tema to provide jobs for them even though all their farmlands were sacrificed for the industrialization of the country.

‘It is with the utmost pain to note that no sooner had Mr. Titus-Glover left the office than his successor, Mr. Kingsley Aboagy
e Gyedu, started skirmishes to lay off those workers,’ the council alleged.

The Tema Shipi stressed, ‘May God forbid this, but if he goes ahead with this wicked agenda that has the potential to discredit the government, we shall resist with unprecedented zeal. We therefore advise him to desist from the wicked intention he is nurturing, or he will be faced with the wrath of our people.’

They further expressed worry that ‘from the way things are going, it is our suspicion that some of those traditional rulers from Kpone and Tema, whom Hon. Titus-Glover has given the privilege to attend VALCO Hospital, shall also be denied this privilege.’

The TTC therefore called on President Akufo-Addo to take prompt action to halt the alleged intention, which it said has the potential to damage the image of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.

Meanwhile, when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) contacted the management of VALCO for their response to the allegations, they said the CEO was out of the country and would therefor
e give their side on a later day when he arrived.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Let’s adopt holistic approach to safeguard Ghana’s cultural heritage

Mr Mark Okraku Mante, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has called for a holistic approach to safeguard Ghana’s cultural heritage.

He said such an approach should combine legislative framework, educational initiative, and community engagement strategies.

The Deputy Minister made the call at an open forum and closing ceremony of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Project by the National Folklore Board (NFB) in collaboration with UNESCO, in Accra.

He said in an era marked by globalization and rapid urbanization, Ghana’s traditional practices were increasingly vulnerable to erosion, commodification, hence the need for a holistic approach to safeguard them for prosperity.

‘In this digital age, where the world seems to be moving forward at an unprecedented pace, it is imperative to pause, reflect and celebrate the intangible elements that binds us together as a people.’

He said Ghana’s ICH encompasses a wide array of expressions ranging from oral traditions to performing arts, rituals, festive
events to traditional craftsmanship, among others which presents a unique opportunity to reaffirm Ghana’s commitment to safeguarding, promoting, and transmitting these cherished practices to future generations.

Mr Mante said ICH served as a repository of knowledge, and a fountain of inspiration offering a valuable insight into our collective heritage and identity. ‘It serves as a catalyst for socio-economic development.’

He said harnessing the potential of Ghana’s cultural assets, could lead to economic growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation particularly in rural areas, adding the ministry was committed to safeguarding the rich traditions, customs and practices that form the bed rock of our culture.

‘As we embark on this collective journey together let us reaffirm our unwavering commitment and harness the power of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity to ensure that our cultural legacy continue to thrive and inspire generations yet unborn.’

Mr Carl Ampah, National Professional Officer for Cult
ure, UNESCO, said the project had been part of a systemic effort to safeguard ICH at the national and community level.

He said the project had enhanced the capacities of stakeholders, while also addressing the gaps in policies and strategies for safeguarding living heritage and facilitating the development of a community-based inventory of ICH.

‘Ghana’s ICH is much more than the physical aspects of culture, it is about traditions or living expressions, which include all performing arts, rituals, social practices, festive events, traditional craftsmanship highlife music, symbols and kente weaving.’

Mr Ampah noted that, despite the recognition of their importance, these elements of ICH were at risk of being permanently lost to humanity due to poor or lack of inventory and documentation.

He commended the Asantehene for the facilitating the return of some precious cultural properties, illicitly taken out of the country. ‘It is a milestone contributing to strengthening ICH and UNESCO is looking forward for mor
e collaboration with Ghana and the cultural sector.’

Mrs Bernice Ann Deh-Kumah, Executive Director, NFB, said the project was important as it sought to implement the 2003 UNESCO Convention on safeguarding ICH which was a unique expression of a community’s identity and values, transmitted from generations.

She said the 2003 UNESCO convention provided a framework for the identification, documentation, protection, promotion and transmission of these heritage, and therefore an essential instrument for countries seeking to safeguard their cultural heritage.

‘The project is designed to strengthen capacities to safeguard heritage and contribute to sustainable development, and this forum will further unveil the findings of ICH across the 16 regions which would guide us to put in administrative measures, policies, and legal framework to safeguard and ensure its continuity.’

Mrs Deh-Kumah added that it was essential since the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage could contribute to sustainable developmen
t, create employment opportunities, promote tourism, and generate income for the communities.

‘It plays a role in maintaining cultural diversity, enhancing social cohesion, helps individuals develop sense of identity and belonging, promoting inter-cultural relationships, facilitating communication, and respect for different cultures.

The two-year project on the theme, ‘strengthening capacities to safeguard intangible cultural heritage and contribute to sustainable development.’

It comprises of an inception meeting, technical team capacity building workshop, cultural mapping exercise, community-based inventorying pilot project in eight selected border districts, and a database management training.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AngloGold Ashanti supplies oil palm seedlings to farmers in Adansi enclave

AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine has distributed 60,000 high yielding oil palm seedlings to farmers in six districts in the Adansi enclave.

It is part of the Climate Resilience Oil Palm Plantation (CROPP) project, which is being undertaken by AngloGold, in partnership with Solidaridad West Africa.

It aims at supporting farmers in the Adansi enclave through oil palm production to improve their livelihoods, while contributing to the deforestation mitigation targets through agro forestry.

The beneficiaries are farmers from the Obuasi Municipal, Obuasi East, Adansi North and South, Adansi Asokwa and Adansi Akrofoum districts.

The company in 2023 distributed 30,000 seedlings under the project to farmers in the districts.

Mr Daniel Arthur-Bentum, Economic Development Superintendent of AngloGold Obuasi Mine, speaking at the presentation ceremony, said most arable lands in the Adansi enclave had been significantly depleted due to illegal mining activities.

This had caused rising temperatures, increased inconsiste
ncies in rainfall patterns, reduced suitable areas for farming, and reduced farm yield.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Birim Central Municipal NCCE celebrates constitution week with churches

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Birim Central Municipality has observed the 2024 Constitution Week, focusing on churches as key locations where individuals tend to engage in social issues and activities.

The Constitution Week celebration is an initiative of the NCCE to promote constitutional literacy among the Ghanaian population and encourage citizens to exercise their civic responsibilities.

This year’s event in Birim Central, held on the theme ‘Together We Can Build Ghana, So Get Involved,’ saw participation from several churches.

They include the Apostolic International Worship Centre, E. P. Church, Global Evangelical Church (Good Shepherd Chapel), Church of Pentecost (Jerusalem), and the Presbyterian Church at Community Six in Akim Oda.

In her remarks, Madam Rejoice Biscoff, Director of the Birim Central Municipal NCCE, highlighted the successes achieved over the past three decades of Ghana’s journey towards constitutional democratic rule in the Fourth Republic.

She said G
hana’s democratic governance trajectory has seen stability, with citizens exercising their freedom of expression and participating in free and fair multi-party elections.

However, she noted that while some successes have been achieved, there were also challenges, including the influence of money in the political system, leading to vote buying.

She urged all individuals to refrain from such practices, emphasizing the importance of building a better Ghana for all.

Additionally, she reminded the congregation about the ongoing limited registration exercise and encouraged them to take advantage and participate in the registration process.

She urged them to inform their friends and relatives who have reached the age of 18 or above to register so that they can have a say in who governs them.

‘This is a civil responsibility and must not be shirked,’ she said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

UNFPA holds stakeholder inception meeting on peacebuilding project in Bongo

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has held a stakeholder inception meeting on a peacebuilding project aimed at promoting social cohesion in Bongo in the Upper East Region.

Dubbed ‘Peace Building Fund (PBF)’, the two-year project is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with coordination support from the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Office.

It is aimed at preventing and addressing the root causes of localized and spillover conflicts and vulnerabilities to violent extremism in Northern Ghana, particularly in the Upper East, Upper West, and North East Regions.

The project also focused on empowering local governance institutions, actors, and customary governance structures to ensure inclusive governance and enable functional spaces for dialogue and mediation for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

The project is benefitting three communities in the Bongo District namely Feo, Soe, and Namoo.

Madam Selina Owusu, the National Gender Analyst, UNFPA, speak
ing at the inception meeting on the theme ‘Enhancing social cohesion and social contract through the empowerment of women and youth in the three Regions of the North’, believed the project would contribute significantly to strengthen social cohesion in beneficiary communities and beyond.

Madam Owusu noted that because of tensions over unresolved chieftaincy and land disputes, coupled with the country’s porous borders exposing border communities to the Sahel crisis the people, especially the youth, were vulnerable to violent extremists.

That, she highlighted, made it crucial for the people to be sensitized to build a social bond among them to guard themselves against radicalization.

Madam Owusu who doubled as the Focal Person for the project underscored that ensuring peaceful coexistence and harmonious environment among the varied people in the communities would advance development and help alleviate the vulnerable groups, including women and children from poverty and suffering.

‘The development of every c
ommunity is hinged on peace, and that is what this project is seeking to achieve: to foster inclusive dialogue and promote peace for sustainable development by enhancing the agency of the youth and women to contribute to local governance,’ she added.

She, therefore called on relevant stakeholders such as the Regional Coordinating Council, traditional authorities, youth group leaders, and community members, to play critical roles to strengthen the prevailing peace and prevent spillover of activities of violent extremists.

Alhaji Ibrahim Habila, District Coordinating Director, Bongo District Assembly, reiterated that, as a key stakeholder, the Assembly would ensure the implementation of the project to enhance peace for development.

Naba Azaare Anye-Naba, Chief of Feo community, thanked the UNFPA and its partners for working to foster peace in the communities, adding that ‘a peaceful environment would help attract investors to enhance development.’

Source: Ghana News Agency