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Business News of Thursday, 29 October 2015

Source: GhanaWeb

2016 International trade fair to be held in Tamale

Trade Fair building in Accra Trade Fair building in Accra

In fulfillment of its commitment and ultimate mandate to promote economic development in the SADA belt, The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, SADA, has joined forces with the Ghana Trade Fair Company to host the 20th edition of the international trade fair in Tamale.

The event, which comes under the theme. “Two Decades of International Trade Fair in Ghana: Exploring Business Opportunities in the SADA Zone of Ghana”, aims at showcasing a vast wealth of business and investment opportunities across the zone.

Stakeholders are optimistic that the fair holds great promise and will inject momentum into economic activities and ultimately create jobs and improve livelihoods.

Speaking at the opening of a two day planning committee workshop in Tamale towards the successful execution of the fair which is slated for February 25th to March 7th, the Chief Executive Officer of SADA, Mr. Charles Abugre pointed out that the SADA zone, even though endowed with a lot of resources, is relatively underdeveloped and characterized by high levels of poverty.

He expressed worry over the slow progress to attaining poverty reduction in the area and made a clarion call to all stakeholders to give the region the needed attention.

Mr. Abugre intimates that the savannah zone occupies more than half the land area of Ghana and one-third of its population as well as a huge deposit of untapped tourism potential.

In this regard,both international and local investors will be exposed to commercial infrastructure investment opportunities in irrigation, tourism, warehousing, water transport through the Volta lake inland port construction at Buipe and several landing sites along the Volta lake.

There are also huge untapped investment opportunities in the areas of of education, health care, real estate, agriculture and several others. We envisage the development industrial parks, technology parks, agro parks and other development clusters.

According to him, a recently published poverty map of Ghana by the Ghana Statistical Service and the World Bank, reveals a sharp contrast between the two halves of the country. Whereas the population of people living in extreme poverty in most districts in the southern half fall below 20%, that of the northern belt accounts for more than 70%, a situation he described as worrisome.

Asked why Tamale was chosen out of the entire SADA zone as the preferred location for the 2016 international trade fair, Mr. Abugre explained that Tamale is the only place with the basic infrastructure to host an event of such magnitude and added that the infrastructural gap rather presents opportunities for investors to take advantage of.

He therefore encouraged investors and prospective exhibitors to embrace the fair as a launch pad into the area.

Also speaking at the opening session of the two day planning committee workshop in Tamale, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd, Dr. Erasmus Koney stated that, the motivation for accepting SADA's proposal to organize the trade fair in Tamale falls in line with the trade fair company's rebranding agenda to ensure equity in organizing trade exhibitions across the country.

Mr. Charles A. Abugre registered his appreciation to the board and management of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd for accepting this daunting but very necessary task and commended the team for the inroads made so far even within the short period.

In clear terms, Mr. Abugre emphasized that both investors and participants will cherish the experience of being treated to some of the most enviable traditions, culture and display of oldest kingdoms in Africa.

It is expected that part of the cultural events will showcase a durbar of chiefs of the biggest traditional rulers of the oldest kingdoms which include Moshie-Dagomba, the kingdom of Kano(the sons of Naa Gbewaa) and other rulers from other parts of the country. It is hoped that the rich display of diverse cultures will strengthen bonds between Ghana and its neighboring countries and consequently promote cross border trade, cultural exchanges and regional integration.

The savannah zone is strategically placed, linking Ghana to Ivory Coast, Togo and Burkina Fasso within two hours of flight when the Tamale International Airport is completed.

"The forthcoming international trade fair to be held in Tamale builds on the successful nature of the SADA Investment Business Fair, (SABIF2015) which was held in March this year which was held in partnership with the Ghana Institution of Engineers. SABIF 2015 witnessed a phenomenal participation from all the 63 districts of the SADA zone, exhibiting the opportunities in their respective localities. We call upon Metropolitan, Municipal and District Authorities to even do better this time round, "says the Chief Executive Officer of SADA, Mr. Charles A. Abugre.

The planning committee groups who are working assiduously towards a successful international trade fair in March 2016 include Business & Tourism, Media & Communications, Logistics, Accommodation & Transport, Sponsorship as well as the Safety and Security Committees.

Key stakeholders involved in the fair are SADA, the Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center and the Ghana Tourism Authority.