The Sixth Volta Trade and Investment Fair has begun in Ho, the Volta regional capital, and will bring together 400 exhibitors and over 4,000 visitors to stimulate trade in the region.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is organizing the expo, titled “Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area for Local Economic Development,” which will take place at the Ho Sports Stadium from November 26 to December 10.
The fair was launched by Dr. Angela Lusigi, the resident representative of UNDP.
She applauded the organizers for their initiative and praised the advantages of economic empowerment.
She asserted that the region was most suited to gain from the AfCFTA due to its arable lands, beautiful surroundings, industrial expansion, and youthful population, and that the UNDP continued to actively assist Ghana in achieving rural development.
Dr. Lusigi stated that the UNDP would collaborate with numerous partners to improve the continent’s free trade in four key sectors, including digital infrastructure, agriculture promotion, human capital investment, and tourism promotion.
She urged everyone to participate actively in the fair so that local trade would be boosted.
The AGI is organizing the fair in collaboration with the Volta Regional Coordinating Council, the National AfCFTA Coordination Office, and other institutions such as the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, the Volta Regional Minister, said the fair, the third under his leadership, was “another opportunity to showcase the pride and the strong potential of the region.”
He said the vision was to make Volta a production and exporting hub with the private sector at the center and called on the people to take advantage of the favorable environment for local economic development.
Indigenous companies from Togo, Kenya, Nigeria, and India would be participating in the fair, he said, adding that “I am very optimistic it will help foster the needed synergy between the Coordinating Council and businesses in the region.”
Mr. Dela Gadzanku, the Chairman of the AGI for Eastern, Volta, and Oti, said it was a transformational journey, which testified to the exceptional collaboration among partners and the various trade and investment organizations.
He said there would be an “exciting lineup of side events” and several seminars and business forums, including an AfCFTA innovation contest, tours across the region, and a roundtable on the automotive industry.
Dr. Fareed Kwesi Arthur, the National Coordinator of the AfCFTA Coordination Office, said such events displayed the ideals and relevance of continental free trade and assured of the office’s commitment to working “very closely” with stakeholders to make the fair a success.
Mr. Eliphas Barine, the Kenya High Commissioner to Ghana, who was the Guest of Honor, said tourism remained an important sector that could give enormous value to the continent and urged the organizers to improve upon the previous events to enhance the benefits.
“The task ahead is to make the event more successful, create opportunities for participants, and focus on small and microbusinesses,” he said.
Togbe Doglo Anoma VI, the Paramount Chief of Avenor Traditional Area, chaired the launch and said traditional leaders endorsed the event and would continue to support it to realize economic and developmental ideals.
The GNA observes that, just like last year’s event, this year’s entwines the Asogli Te Za (Yam Festival), which would sharply raise the level of activity in the regional capital during the period.