Winners of the ‘Export Project Competition award’ organised by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), have been presented with their award packages at a ceremony in Accra.
The overall winner, Mr Jeffery Osei-Bonsu of Ignite Farms, received a cash prize of GH¢10,000, while the first and second runners up, Mr Bright Aferi, Hill Bill Shoes and Mr Abraham Addo-Ansah Allotey, received GH¢3,000 and GH¢2,000 respectively.
The GEPA launched the awards as part of programme of activities to mark its 50th anniversary which was launched in September this year.
A total of 30 applications covering various project areas were received at the close of entries and a panel of judges was constituted to evaluate the entries based on a set criterion.
Out of these, six were shortlisted and the candidates had to defend their proposals before the panel out of which the final three were selected.
The Chief Executive Officer of GEPA, Dr Afua Asabea Asare, said the methodology was useful because it offered the opportunity for each of the candidates to interact directly with the judges and to clarify their export ideas.
She noted that non-traditional exports (NTEs) had the potential to contribute more to the economic development of the sector and that GEPA was poised to grow the sector in the next few years.
She said a new 10-year National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) had been completed by GEPA and was awaiting approval by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), and thence to Parliament.
“Implementation of the strategy is expected to begin in 2020 once the document is approved. The key target of the strategy is to achieve an NTE revenue of at least US$10 billion at the end of the strategy implementation period in 2028,” she said.
With this target in view, she explained the GEPA at 50 Export Project Competition was designed to engage the youth’s attention and focus on the export sector.
She pledged the commitment of the authority to continue to support all applicants.
She urged the youth with export ideas and proposals to visit the GEPA’s offices nationwide for the necessary support.
The Head of Export at the MOTI, Mr Joshua Azure, said the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda was based on the expansion from exports.
He said the NEDS was being reviewed and that it was in its last stages and gave an assurance of the ministry’s continuous assistance to GEPA.
The Chairman of the panel of judges, Dr Douglas Zormelo, commended GEPA for the initiative which he said marked a new dynamism at GEPA, and added it would go a long way to attract the youth who were the future and by extension, the face of exports from Ghana to the world.