BY: Daniel Orlando | Voltaonlinegh.com|
The 6th Edition of Volta Trade and Investment Fair 2023 officially opened on Tuesday, November 28, 2023 with a vibrant cultural performance showcasing the rich heritage of the Volta Region at Ho Jubilee Park.
The event, held under the theme “Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area for Economic Development,” attracted a diverse audience, including diplomats, traditional leaders, government officials, brand ambassadors, and students from second-cycle institutions in the Ho Municipality.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Dela Gadzanku, Chairman of the Ghana Association of Industries for Eastern, Volta, and Oti, emphasized that 2023 marks the year of accelerating the African Free Trade Area, with a particular focus on empowering youth and women. He highlighted the determination of the Volta Region to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA free trade zone for accelerated development.
Dr. Humphrey K. Ayim-Dake, President of the Association of Ghana Industries, characterized the fair as a convergence of industrial players and stakeholders, providing a platform to discuss policy matters, establish connections, and showcase products and innovations. Dr. Ayim-Dake expressed the association’s commitment to supporting policies that facilitate the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises within the African Free Trade Area.
Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, underscored the role of trade and investment as drivers of local economic development. He emphasized their potential to uplift millions from poverty, providing employment opportunities and delivering goods and services at competitive prices. Dr. Letsa called for collective efforts towards responsible investment, highlighting the importance of preserving the ecosystem as the foundation for material wealth and well-being.
Africa’s youngest MP and Minister, Ms. Emma M. Theofulus, Deputy Minister of ICT and Technology of the Republic of Namibia, who was also a special guest to the event, urged the youth to safeguard the rich potential of the region, emphasizing Africa as the only place they can call home. Acknowledging Africa’s status as the youngest continent, with a population expected to double by 2050, she stressed the need for a conscious effort to leverage human and natural capital resources to maximize the potential of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Speaking at the ceremony Ms. Theofulus declared, “Every African child must be able to feel, touch, taste, and experience the fruits of the Free Trade Area.”
The 6ht Volta Fair commenced on Sunday, with several exhibitors from across the country and beyond in attendance. Some of them who spoke to Volta Online, were optimistic of making gains from the event.