Job creation demands strong industrial, export capacity – Trade Minister

Job creation demands strong industrial, export capacity – Trade Minister


The most sustainable solution to the age-long problem of unemployment in the country lies in the collective ability to industrialise and expand the nation’s export capacity, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyeremanten has said.

“Focusing on exports is important because it allows for the expansion of production capacity and to explore other external market opportunities. As a nation, the solution to our problem of job creation is to be able to industrialise and make conscious efforts at expanding our export capacity,” he said at the inauguration of a 13-member board of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in Accra.

With over 300,000 people entering the job market every year and the limited space for employment in the public sector, Mr. Kyeramanten said the onus was on the private sector to provide opportunities for job creation, leveraging industrialisation and export development. 

“If we should look at the cumulative effect of the people that we are turning out of our schools, nobody should tell us that as a country we need to identify opportunities to put them into sustainable jobs. If you industrialise, it means that you’ll produce, and the more extensive your capacity to produce, the more you’re required to find markets for what is produced, and the domestic market alone cannot be the solution,” he added.

Mr. Kyeremanten tasked the new GEPA board to work towards the realisation of the set targets in the National Export Development Strategy (NEDS), specifically growing the nation’s non-traditional exports (NTEs) to US$25.3bn over the next decade.

He urged the board to also encourage exports to enable the country take advantage of the many trade agreements it has signed onto, including the Ghana-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, which opens up the continent of Europe to Ghana duty-free and quota-free.

“All these trade partnership agreements will be of no value to us if we are unable to export to these countries, because we are allowing imports from these countries into ours,” he added.

The board chairman of GEPA, Yaw Asuo Banin, on behalf of members, thanked the government for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to protect and promote the interests of all stakeholders.

He appealed for additional GEPA regional offices across the country, enhanced resources, a review of the Exports Act, and an increase in the percentage of funds from Exim Ghana.

The members of the board are Mr. Herbert Krapa, Dr. Afua Asabea Asare, Dr. Mrs. Emelia Assiakwa, Mr. Philip Abradu-Otoo, Professor Alexander Nii Oto Dodoo, Mr. Attipoe Prudence Tonator, Mr. Bonaventure Adjavor, Madam Hilary Andoh, Mr. Yofi Grant, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah, Mr. John Yao Agbeko, and Dr. Edward Nana Yaw Ofori-Kuragu.

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