Category Archives: Business

Nobody paid $25,000 to sit by Akufo-Addo – Trade Ministry

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The Ministry of Trade and Industry has vehemently denied claims that foreigners were made to pay as high as $25,000 to be seated close to President Nana Akufo-Addo at an event.

It is being circulated in the media that the incident took place at the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards  (GEBA) organised by Millennium Excellence Foundation.

The Trade Ministry in a statement issued by the Communications Unit on Saturday called the allegations baseless.

“The Ministry of Trade and Industry has learnt with disdain the baseless allegations flying in the media  (including social media platforms) that the Ministry charged expatriates between 25,000 and 100,000 dollars to offer them seats close to the President at the recently held Ghana Expatriate Business Awards  (GEBA).”

The ministry said the event, which is the “first of its kind in Africa” was held in partnership with the Foundation.  The awards recognized and rewarded the contributions of the expatriate and naturalised expatriate community to the socio-economic advancement of the country over the decades.

The Ministry, the statement said, signed an MoU with the Foundation that spelt out the roles of both parties. Resource mobilisation to ensure that the event was organised at no cost to the taxpayer was the sole responsibility of the Foundation, it said.

“As a serious and experienced event organiser, the Foundation came up with a sponsorship programme as would be done by any serious-minded event organiser which included series of fundraising dinners and sponsorship packages,” the statement asserted.

“Non-mischievous minds with a basic knowledge of event organisation will know that as is the case with all fundraising activities, there are different sponsorship categories and packages with their attendant benefits. As to how one chooses to categorise them (whether presidential circle or platinum down to the least package) is only a matter of semantics, nomenclature and ingenuity,” the statement signed by Boakye-Boateng Prince, Team Leader, Communications and Advocacy at the Ministry who is also the Spokesperson to the Awards Committee said.

“It is very worrying for people who are expected to know better (especially if some happen to be leading members of the august House of Parliament) to conveniently join the streets wagon in pursuit of petty partisan parochial interests to churn out deliberate falsehood to perpetuate the fallacy that access to the President has to be secured with financial inducements”

It further stated that the Ministry only wrote letters to introduce the Millennium Excellence Foundation to sponsors and solicited support whilst the Foundation prepared the sponsorship package kits and presented it to potential sponsors at a later date.

“Without any show of disrespect or attempt to tag individuals and organisations as not being corporate responsible,  on the so-called “for sale Presidential Table “ were the Award winning MD of Tigo/Airtel (Roshi Motman), Amar Hari (IPMC), Salem Kalmoni  (Japan Motors), Ashok Mohinani (Polygroup), H.E. Jerry John Rawlings, Hon Alan Kyerematen,  Amb. James Victor Gbeho, Hon Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Mr. Yofi Grant of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Amb. Ashim Morton who did not pay a pesewa to be seated on the “for the highest bidder Presidential Table”.

“People who know or ought to know better should desist from mischief and propaganda and rather learn to commend individuals and institutions that come up with initiatives such as the GEBA that has the capacity to boost the country’s FDIs.”

The statement said the allegations were investigated by a competent security agency.

“The GEBA has come to stay as an event to be held every other year to appreciate the contributions of the expatriate and naturalised expatriate community to the growth of the country. An investigative report by a competent security agency of the country has put to rest the spurious allegations that one has to pay his or her way to have access to the Presidency. Let no one attempt to resurrect a dead issue through GEBA”

By Isaac Essel |3news.com | Ghana

Prices of petroleum products to remain stable at the pumps

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The National Petroleum Authority has announced that prices of petroleum products at the pumps would remain stable over the pricing window: 16th December to 31st December 2017.

“This is as a result of a marginal drop of fuel prices on the world market. The exchange rate has also remained relatively stable,” NPA said in a statement on Saturday.

Additionally, in line with a directive from the Ministry of Energy, the statement said the Authority has activated the price stabilization mechanism to avoid any upward adjustment in prices.

The Authority has therefore adjusted the price stabilization and recovery levy (PSRL) on diesel and LPG.

This adjustment will not result in any price increment, the statement assured.

“The Authority assures the general public that it will be monitoring the prices to ensure consumers benefit from government’s decision to use the PSRL to manage variations at the pumps.”

Source: 3news.com | Ghana

We should take control of our natural resources – Dr. Bawumia

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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has underlined the need for new thinking to enable the nation to take control of its natural resources to propel it into economic prosperity.

He said it should not be business as usual and that it was time to think outside the box.

This required building the skills, capacity and expertise to become better managers of the gold, bauxite, cocoa and other resources the country had been blessed with.

Dr. Bawumia was addressing the opening of a two-day meeting of Regional Ministers in Kumasi on Friday.

Facilitated by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), it provided the platform to discuss ways of ensuring the successful implementation of the government’s development agenda.

The Vice President repeated their unwavering determination to build a robust and resilient economy to overcome the over-reliance on foreign aid for development.

He added that the various programmes, it had rolled out were meant just to achieve that goal – create jobs for the people to enhance their ability to contribute meaningfully to revenue generation and promote economic growth.

He reminded the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to deepen stakeholder engagement in the execution of development programmes.

Dr. Bawumia indicated that the one district, one factory, planting for food and jobs and the infrastructure for poverty eradication, were all private sector driven, and it was important to help the people to own them.

He noted that it would be difficult to achieve any meaningful development without the active participation of the people.

“As key representatives of government at the local level, Regional Ministers and District Chief Executives, are expected to always engage and build consensus with the people in respect of their development needs and how these could be addressed.”

Dr. Bawumia said the overall economic development strategy of government was based on inclusion, adding that, the citizenry should become participants and not passive observers in the implementation of development policies.

He spoke of the need to make sure that the local governance structure and systems worked for efficient and effective service delivery to bring prosperity to the people.

Nana Adu Gyamfi II, Adontehene of Kumasi, said effective local governance was the basis for improving the living conditions of the people and called for the assemblies to be more development-oriented.

Source: GNA

Issuance of National ID cards begins January – Bawumia

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President Akufo-Addo is the first Ghanaian to be issued with the card

Vice-President, Dr Muhamudu Bawumia has reiterated government’s commitment to introducing the National ID system to formalize country’s economy.

He observed the country’s economy has largely been informal over the past 60 years, a situation he said excludes a chunk of the population from planning and taxation.

Speaking at the opening of the 2017 regional ministers conference in Kumasi Friday, Dr. Bawumia indicated that systems don’t work when the economy is largely informal.

“Tax revenue are much lower, you can’t identify people, where people live and addresses for people”, he noted.

“The economy is largely informal when most of the population does not even have access to bank account… This is why Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has begun the process of reversing, because you can’t include everybody if you can’t identify them and this is why we are going to issue the national ID card, “he said.

Dr Bawumia noted processes are far advanced to begin the issuance of the national ID cards from January 2018.

He said, “the National Identification Authority is going to move from region to region and make sure every Ghanaian is registered”.

Dr Bawumia called on the regional ministers, MMDCEs to play their roles effectively in ensuring that the national ID card registration process is well executed.

He said it is a major step that the NPP government is taking in the formalization of the country.

“We’ve been trying to do it in various ways in 60 years but in 2018 it will be done for as to move to different problem, “he said.

By Kwadwo Antwi Boasiako|Akoma FM|3news.com|Ghana

Gaming Commission chases operators of illegal betting centres in Tamale

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A gambling machine

The National Gaming Commission has closed down two betting centres in Tamale in the Northern Region in a clampdown exercises to rid the system of unlincenced entities operating gamin businesses.

The exercise, which was carried out with the Northern Regional Police Command, saw closure of 18 unclicenced slot machine centres.

It was a part of a comprehensive quarterly exercise by the Commission to streamline the activities of gaming center operators.

“This year the Commission is embarking on a simultaneous nationwide operation in view of the enormity of illegal gaming, especially within the route and sports betting operations” Deputy Commissioner of the Commission, Mr. Kobby Annan, said.

He said the timing of the operation was strategic in the sense because it has come at a time the year is ending.

The Commission, he said, anticipates a lot of illegal operators “will use the festive occasion to cash in on unsuspecting punters and minors”.

He said they have intensified monitoring and investigations to check these illegal operators.

Mr. Annan again said the nationwide exercise will afford the Commission the opportunity to visit gaming facilities that are distant and are usually outside its routine weekly operations.

He said they would identify illegal shops that are operating on the blind side of the Commission as well as ensure compliance of the Gaming Act 2006 (ACT 721).

Meanwhile, the Commission has urged the Northern Regional Police Command to assist in monitoring the activities of these illegal outlets during the festive season and beyond.

Zubaida Ismail|3news.com|Ghana

 

Kaneshie traders sensitised on child trafficking on Human Rights Day

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The United Nations Information Centre Accra has held a durbar which saw over 100 traders from the Kaneshie market vigorously sensitized on child trafficking, child labour and child abuse in commemoration of the 2017 Human Rights Day.

The sensitization forum, which took place at a spot within the Kaneshie Market Complex in Accr,a was aimed at educating market women on the rights of children including the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The participants drawn from the Kaneshie Market Women Association were elated to be informed and empowered by UNIC and its partners with the knowledge to deal with one of the world’s biggest problems which violates rights of children in the country.

Addressing participants, Deputy Director of Public Education at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Mawuli Avutor noted that protection of the rights of children should be collective responsibility of all.

He cited an instance where he intercepted a child with a heavy basket of goods on his head sent by his mum to be delivered to a neighbour’s house.

He said knowing very well the act was illegal, he acted quickly as a ‘Good Samaritan’ to save the child and later confronted the mother then proceeded to warn her subsequently.

Mr. Avutor therefore charged the public to take up the responsibility to observe and report persons with such illegal acts to the police for the necessary sanctions to be applied to deter others from committing such atrocities.

He warned parents against assigning laborious work to children especially during the night when they are supposed to be sleeping.

For her part, Eva Maison, Secretary of Kaneshie Market Women Association, noted with grave concern the negative effects of child trafficking and other forms of modern slavery on the future of children, saying it’s a ‘cankerworm’ gradually destroying the future of our children therefore must not be allowed to continue”.

Ms. Maison, therefore, called for all hands on deck to eliminate the menace at once to save the future of our children.

She disclosed the forum was a step in the right direction since it would help shape women to be active in playing their roles as caring mothers so as not to infringe on the rights of their children.

She indicated that women play very critical role in shaping the life of children therefore ought to be sensitized and empowered with the right information “so they will be filled with the knowledge to protect the rights of their children”.

In her address, National Information Officer of UNIC Accra Cynthia Prah maintained the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes the equality and dignity of every human and stipulates that every government has a core duty to enable all people to enjoy all their inalienable rights and freedoms.

“All of us have a right to speak freely and participate in decisions that affect our lives. We all have a right to live free from all forms of discrimination,” she added.

The event also witnessed an interactive session where participants were allowed to ask questions bothering their minds on the topic under discussion. It triggered answers from the facilitators, clearing their minds of doubt on child trafficking and other human rights related issues.

In attendance were some dignitaries from the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Rights, International Organization for migration (IOM), United Nations Population Fund including other United Nations Agencies in the country.

Human Rights Day is the day the United General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a milestone document, which underpins all international human rights law and inspires us to continue to work to ensure all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity.

This year’s commemoration of Human Rights Day marks the beginning of a year-long celebration of seven decades since the adoption of one of the World’s most profound and far-reaching international agreements.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|UNIC Accra

 

Fisheries sector transformation saves Ghana’s Oil and Gas industry

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Ground-breaking reforms and innovations introduced through the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP) continue to protect not only the fisheries, but other sectors.

On Saturday, 23 September 2017, Justice Boualem Bouguetaia, President of the Special Chamber of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), delivered a judgement in the dispute concerning delimitation of the maritime boundary between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The verdict was as follows:

  “That the single maritime boundary for the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf within and beyond 200 nm starts at BP 55+ with the coordinates 05° 05’ 23.2” N, 03° 06’ 21.2’’ W in WGS 84 as a geodetic datum

– That Ghana did not violate the sovereign rights of Côte d’Ivoire.

– That Ghana did not violate the provisional measures prescribed by the Special Chamber in its Order of 25 April 2015.”

Since the judgement, Ghanaians across the length and breadth of the country and the diaspora have been basking in the ‘elegant victory’. The discussions however have centered on how the victory has saved our new oil and gas exploitation in the disputed area from economic losses and paved the way for further expansion.

The critical success factor

In recognizing the regulator of the longest-operating maritime industry, the Ghanaian Legal and Technical Team consulted the MCS Division of the Fisheries Commission for the necessary assistance. Following these consultations, the Attorney General’s Department invited the Fisheries Commission for a meeting on 24th June 2015.

At the meeting which had the Attorney General presiding, the Ghanaian Legal and Technical Team of the Maritime Boundary Arbitration between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire sought urgently (before a deadline of 4 September 2015) “copies of all items of correspondence, maps and any/or other documentation relating to the Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire relations in the area of fisheries. These materials are intended to demonstrate to the Tribunal that Cote d’Ivoire has recognized the current boundary since Independence.”

The Commission was represented by Mr. Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu (Head of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Division), Mr. Paul Bannerman (Head of Fisheries Scientific and Survey Division), and Capt. (GN) Emmanuel Kwafo (former National Coordinator of Fisheries Enforcement Unit).

After struggling to glean enough information on archived hard documents, the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) of the Fisheries Commission became the ‘guardian angel’. The VMS which had been in place and currently funded by the West African Regional Fisheries Project (WARFP), is a satellite-based fisheries surveillance mechanism which provides accurate and timely information about the location and activity of regulated fishing vessels.

Unlike other monitoring methods such as the use of surface and aerial patrols, on-board observers, logbooks or dockside inspections, this system sends reports from vessels to a satellite and then onto a terrestrial, or “earth” station.

VMS chart

The earth station validates and stores the data, and makes them available to the monitoring agency. The fishery monitoring centres in Accra, Tema and Takoradi retrieve the data and store them in a database. The identity and location of VMS units are presented on a map display, comparing vessel positions with features of interest, such as regulated fishing areas within Ghana’s EEZ and beyond.

Several VMS reports on fishing vessel movement and activities in the disputed area were made available to the team in both hard and soft copies. In February 2017, the Ghanaian Legal and Technical team, requested remote access to the VMS whilst they were in Hamburg, Germany and this was granted by the Fisheries Commission.

Following this, the team was informed that Cote d’Ivoire Fisheries Authority was operating a Vessel Monitoring System powered by the same vendor (CLS, France) as Ghana’s and for that matter were using the same electronic admiralty charts.

There was evidence to show how both countries have cooperated and exchanged information on vessels leaving or entering the territorial waters of either country.

The MCS Division got CLS, France to confirm this to the Ghanaian Legal and Technical Team in Hamburg, Germany.

Objection to the boundary that has over the years being the reference point as per the VMS charts in the exchange of information on fishing vessels leaving or entering the territorial waters of either countries was considered duplicitous on the part of Cote d’Ivoire. This significantly weakened the Ivorian case and validated Ghana’s position.

This helped the Ghanaian Legal and Technical Team in demonstrating to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) that Ghana had not violated the sovereign rights of Cote d’Ivoire.

It is hoped that beyond the ITLOS victory, the Vessel Monitoring System, as a key component in Monitoring, Control and Surveillance operations of the Fisheries Commission will continue to receive Governmental support. It also needs to be highlighted that interagency cooperation and coordination should be enhanced in dealing always with matters of National concern as was evidenced in the ITLOS victory.

By Godfrey Baidoo-Tsibu of the Fisheries Commission and Bright Yeboah, WARFP-Ghana

470MW powership inaugurated at Tema Habour

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Karpower moored at the Tema port

The largest ever powership in the world, Osman Khan, was on Thursday inaugurated at the Tema Fishing Harbour to supply reliable and uninterrupted electricity to Ghanaians.

The karpowership has the capacity to generate 470 megawatts of power.

Deputy Minister of Energy, Joseph Cudjoe, revealed the powership replaces the 225 megawatts powership, Karadeniz Powership Aysegul Sultan, TV3’s Ebenezer Agyekum reported.

Mr. Cudjoe said the Osman Khan powership would be relocated to Takoradi to make use of gas from off the Cape Three points in the Western Region.

He indicated with Ghana’s power demand increasing by 10% annually, government will put up the necessary policies to ensure sustainable, accessible, reliable and affordable electricity.

The CEO of Karpowership Orhan Remzi Karadeniz said the presence of the powership is the fulfilment of the obligation to ECG.

The new power barge is in fulfilment of a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

The PPA, according to reports, requires Karadeniz to provide a total of 450 MW capacity of power and directly feed it into the national grid for 10 years.

“The 470 MW Powership will supply uninterrupted and reliable electricity at one of the lowest costs to Ghana for thermal power generation with its dual fuel engines and combined cycle power generation technology,” Karpowership Ghana Company Limited said in a statement in August this year

“The Powership will initially use low Sulphur Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to generate electricity but the fuel will be converted to Natural Gas as soon as local Natural Gas supplies become available, ensuring cost savings for Ghana,” it added.

It assured that the operations of the powership will have a significant contribution to Ghana’s electricity supply “as the most reliable power plant in the country and create more employment opportunities”.

By 3news.com

Collapse of UT, Capital banks cost GH¢3.4bn – Adongo

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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bolgatanga Central, Mr Isaac Adongo, has asked the government and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to come clean on the financial impact of the collapse of UT and Capital banks on the taxpayer, explaining that the collapse has so far cost the country GH¢3.4 billion.

Out of the amount, he said, GH¢1.4 billion was used as liquidity support for the failed banks in 2016 prior to their collapse in August, this year, while “the government now intends to issue a bond of GH¢2 billion to pay the GCB Bank for the difference in the valuation of the selected assets and liabilities taken over.”

GCB Bank was chosen among three interested banks to take over select assets and liabilities of UT and Capital banks through a purchase and assumption (P&A) agreement signed between the largely state-owned lender and the central bank.

“This GH¢3.4 billion is to be borne by the taxpayer and it is three times the budget of the Free SHS programme for the first year. Yet neither the Minister of Finance nor the BoG Governor is telling us about it,” Mr Adongo said at a public lecture in Accra.

The lecture was organised by pro-NDC group, Coalition for Restoration (CRF), to offer speakers an opportunity to analyse the 2017/18 budgets in the contest of moving from taxation to production. It was on the theme: ‘Analysis and expectation of the 2017/18 budgets to drive the change from taxation to production.’

Govt’s silence

On August 14, BoG revoked the licences of UT and Capital banks following their heavy deficiency in capital and liquidity.

Following the revocation, the central bank approved a P&A agreement with GCB Bank to assume ownership of the deposits and select assets of the now defunct banks.

The action was in conformity with the Banks and Specialised Deposits taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), which was passed last year to help define a mechanism that the central bank could fall on to protect deposits whenever banks go through distress circumstances.

Mr Adongo said although the government and the BoG Governor, Dr Ernest Addison, cited non-conformity to good corporate governance and recklessness by management and board of directors as the cause of the collapse, all of them had remained silent on how much it was costing the state.

That, he indicated, was not good for transparency purposes.

“When the governor met his colleagues at the Chartered Institute of Bankers at a dinner, he failed to tell them how much the tax payer is paying to clean up the mess of those who collapsed the banks.”

“The taxpayer has already paid GH¢1.4 billion to clean up the mess of the directors and there is a further GH¢2 billion that has been set aside in the 2018 budget to clean up the mess this year. In total, it is costing us GH¢3.4 billion to clean up this mess

“Now, imagine that we are only spending GH¢1 billion on free SHS, do you not agree with me that the GH¢3.4 could have given all children in Ghana access to free education and still leave some change?” he asked.

Need for transparency

He also criticised the central bank for abandoning its role as an independent regulator to dabble into “propaganda,” citing the governor’s recent pronouncements on the cedi depreciation and debt stocks as bases.

“Recently when he met with the Chartered Institute of Bankers at their dinner, he said the cedi depreciated against the US dollar by 4.6 per cent since the beginning of the year compared to the same period average of about 17 per cent depreciation over the last three years. But I thought that if you are bold enough to mention 4.6 per cent for October, then why go to average? Also go to October 2016 and you will see that we did a depreciation of 4.3 per cent, better than the 4.6 per cent,” he said.

That notwithstanding, stated that, BoG data showed “the cedi appreciated in value against the British pound by 13 per cent in October, compared to a depreciation of 11.2 per cent in October this year. Against the euro, we did a negative depreciation of 4.2 per cent and they did 14.7 per cent negative depreciation.

“So, how can you now, as a governor, hide the true state of affairs?” he asked.

Source Graphic Online

Ghana Export Promotion Authority launches digital market hub for exporters

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United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with support from the Swiss Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) officially launched a national digital market hub designed for exporters and investors on Thursday at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.

The market hub is to help guide producers and exporters do business with accredited and registered companies licensed to engage in exports.

The support is facilitated by the Trade Capacity Building (TCB) Programme for Ghana, a project implemented by UNIDO and funded by SECO.

UNIDO Project Manager Juan Pablo Davila explained that export marketers and entrepreneurs are challenged on how to deal with the ever-increasing volumes and velocity of multichannel data on export goods from countries.

Juan Pablo Davila

He added that the challenge is further complicated by the fragmented and complex customer buying touch points in countries of market interests.

“This support from the UNIDO –TCB project to the GEPA is to enable exporters, public and private sector including marketing organisations, to make insight-driven decisions and take actions based on opportunities in targeted markets,” he said.

“We are delighted that a national digital market hub in a form of trade information portal at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) will allow marketers and exporters to fully identify customer’s quality requirements, identify where to find market data and information on export through a website,” Mr. Davila said.

SECO Deputy Head of Economic Development Cooperation Daniel Lauchenauer affirmed Switzerland government’s commitment to supporting the government of Ghana in the effort of diversifying the economy, job creation, improve trade and the investment value addition in the country.

“We are happy that Switzerland’s support to strengthening capacities in the export value-chains through UNIDO’s Trade Capacity Building Programme is positively reflecting in Ghana’s export operations,” he said.

“We have seen our support transform and improve Ghana’s quality infrastructure – such as standardization, metrology and conformity assessment and we are glad that our support is extending to the private sector who are the major beneficiaries of this national digital market hub,” Mr. Lauchenauer added.

He congratulated the GEPA team for collaborating with UNIDO to develop the digital market hub to enhance the competitiveness of Ghanaian export enterprises.

As part of the support, UNIDO organised training and coaching on the job for the team at the GEPA and also supported the designing the new digital hub.

The digital marketing hub will serve as one-stop shop institutional portal of the Export Authority. It will help exporters determine the best customers or countries to export to, give information on market trends, standards and certification requirements, export statistics including summaries of export requirements and other practical information on EU markets for Fruits, Cocoa, Wood and Fish sectors.

Present at the launch was the Deputy Minister of Trade, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Authority (GIPC) Yoofi Grant as well as officials of West Blue Consulting, National Investment Bank (NIB) and other partners of GEPA.

The TCB Programme aims at ensuring that goods and services emanating from or traded in Ghana are designed, manufactured and supplied in a sustainable manner that conforms to market requirements as well as those of the regulatory authorities in the local and in the export markets.

The Project is focused on four main value chains – cocoa, fish, fruits and wood.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) is the National Export Trade Support Institution of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) responsible for the facilitation, development and promotion of Ghanaian exports.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana