The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is stepping up efforts to inject more cedis into Ghana’s faltering economy through financial facilitations for local exporters.
A financial forum held by the Authority in Kumasi attracted small and medium-scale enterprises to deepen financial inclusion through accessible and affordable financial services for businesses.
Lack of financing is a major challenge hampering the quest to boost export values in Ghana despite the much support for small and medium enterprises.
Diana, an entrepreneur, explains the lack of access to relevant export and financial information impedes her export prospects.
“There is a lack of information on where to go when you get to the export market. We also lack access to export financing and letters of credit. Even when you have all these at hand, you don’t know who or where to turn to,” she said.
Diana was among the participants of a medium and small-scale financial forum organised by the Authority.
The forum sought to bridge the financing deficit between banks and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Over the past five years, Ghana’s non-traditional exports have seen tremendous growth, with 2021 realizing a 17% increase in export value.
However, the production capacity of local businesses for exports has been low.
Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Samuel Dentu says the stakeholder consultative dialogue.
“We feel more can be done when the market is there. There is a huge interest in local businesses but we realized these businesses lack the production capacity. One of the means to improve production capacity is to engage the exporters and commercial banks who have the wherewithal to help these exporters improve their production capacity.
“This is to also help the banks understand the businesses of these exporters and find ways of addressing the deficiencies so that they can help them increase their supply capacity,” he said.
The Authority is targeting non-traditional exports of $25 billion in the next 10 years. Mr Dentu called on commercial banks to support local businesses for capacity building.
“The commercial banks need to help us to grow our exports. We need to work collectively to improve our export capacity,” he said.
Regional Director for Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, George Ameyaw, is optimistic the forum would enhance relations between businesses and financial institutions.
“We are hoping that at least a few who had no dream at all of getting any type of finance will be able to get something from this meeting. At least they can start a conversation that would lead to success and export finance,” he said.
A participant, Janet, is calling for regular workshops to sensitise young entrepreneurs and encourage more youth into entrepreneurship.
“The organizers should expand this to the youth. This would really help a lot and create more jobs for people,” she said.