Year 2012 Selected
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N°: 265/2012
27 September 2012 [ACCRA-GHANA]


	West African countries have been challenged to use the forthcoming 7th ECOWAS 
Trade Fair in Accra, as a mechanism to boost intra-Community trade and 
eliminate reliance on the import of products that could otherwise be produced 
within the Community.

"We should be able to produce and distribute staple foods, particularly grains 
like rice, maize, groundnuts; tubers like yam and cassava; fruits and 
vegetables among ourselves," Ghana's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, 
Dr. Joseph Annan, said on Wednesday, 26th September 2012, while launching the 
publicity campaign for the regional fair scheduled for 24th October to 4th 
November 2013 in the Ghanaian capital.

Ghana is hosting the fair for the second time at its sprawling permanent Trade 
Fair Complex in Accra, which has 26 pavilions for the exhibition of products. 
The country hosted the second edition in 1999 after Senegal played host to the 
inaugural fair four years earlier.

The minister described the regional fair "as one of the effective tools for 
promoting intra-Community trade," adding that the Government of Ghana has put 
in place relevant structures including the composition of appropriate 
committees to ensure a successful hosting.

He reiterated the commitment of the government to discharge its 
responsibility, particularly in improving facilities at the trade fair centre 
Earlier, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs, Free Movement and 
Tourism, Mr. Ahmed Hamid, noted that the movement of goods and services in the 
region still faced some challenges despite efforts by the Commission to create 
the necessary legal and institutional framework.

The Commission, he said, will continue to work assiduously to address these 
challenges because of the important role of intra-Community trade to regional 
economic development and the need to migrate the region to electronic commerce 
system in line with best practices in the sector.

Describing the fair as one of the tools put in place by the region to address 
poverty, the Commissioner called for concerted efforts to improve the level of 
intra-Community trade and the effective exploitation of the region's 
potentials for the benefit of the citizens and regional economic development.
The ceremony, which marked the commencement of the publicity and promotional 
campaign on the event, was held on the margin of the meeting of the Regional 
Organising Committee for the fair.

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