The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant says the commencement of operations of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), gives Ghanaian manufacturing companies the opportunity to upgrade the production of their goods and services.
According to him, this is essential as it will ensure that local businesses win against their rivals from other African countries.
The African Continental Free Trade Area which commenced on January 1, 2021, and consolidates a market of $1.2 billion and a combined GDP of $2.5 trillion. It is also expected to double Africa’s manufacturing output to $1 trillion while creating 14 million jobs by 2025.
“Quality and standards are very important. In the textiles industry, for instance, you want to make sure that, you are sewing quality clothes for the market. And you are sewing a particular style that has market appeal. You can do that style in different sizes but the same quality throughout. There should not be threading and weaving all over the place and not straight.”
“Those are the things that I mean every consumer wants. Everyone wants to buy clothes that are perfectly sewn. And so, we need to learn these things. When you are coming from a depressed economy, that is developing sometimes, quality is not your foremost priority, availability is. But when you move beyond availability into a bigger market, quality becomes critical,” he said.
Mr. Yofi Grant also called on the relevant agencies to sensitize businesses on the need to ensure that goods exported are of the right standard and quality.
“You can produce whatever you want but if it is substandard, and it doesn’t meet the needs of the market or the buyer, it won’t go anywhere. So it is not just producing that is important, education is important. The understanding of value quality and the understanding that there must be certain standards that you have to maintain is key”.
By Adnan Adams Mohammed