Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has hinted that the Government through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the largest free trade area after the WTO is expected to connect some 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion.
He observed that as the world goes through the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the current global crises, the AfCFTA will create a major opportunity to help with the diversification of African exports, attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and accelerate growth.
Against this background, the Minister called on entrepreneurs in the country especially, those in the Region to gain from the market provided to expand their businesses.
Mr Darko-Mensah made the remark at a business forum organised by the
Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) on the theme, “Grow in Ghana, Grow with Ghana” to encourage local participation and education in order to attract appropriate investments.
He also urged the upcoming entrepreneurs to take advantage of the YOUSTART Initiative” which would be a moving vehicle to support the youth and young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses.
He implored the young people in the region to develop attractive business plans in order to partner Government or entice the private sector to bring the needed development to the Region.
The Minister further encouraged the MMDAs to identify development projects, which can be comfortably marketed by the GIPC to enhance the overall development of the respective districts and the region.
He observed that the creation of jobs, the development of human capital and the deepening of the path of development have been in the right direction to grow the economy and charged the GIPC to channel its investment plans for the region in identifying agriculture and agro-processing, agri-business, tourism, infrastructure and services.
Mr Darko-Mensah highlighted a major output of the forum which was on the Land Banks, District Investor Guides and Project Profiles and said these were crucial tools to aid in the attraction of investments which will make the Region and the country at large the preferred location for investment.
He, therefore, urged participants to be attentive to receive the guidelines to this effect, which would be provided by the GIPC at the forum.
He deemed local businessmen and women as important, given the fact that their activities generate wealth for the MMDAs, the region and the country as a whole and urged them to contribute effectively to the deliberations of the forum to achieve its outlined objective.
He hinted that the WRCC over the years has been awarding businessmen and women for their contribution to the growth of the Region and beyond in its effort to acknowledge local businesses in the Region.
To attest to this fact, he mentioned that the WRCC organized a Black Tie Dinner to show its appreciation to these wonderful and promising entrepreneurs within the Region.