Togo overtakes Nigeria as Ghana’s biggest export market in West Africa

The Nigerian market for non-traditional exports from Ghana has become unattractive to the country’s exporters, making Togo the country’s biggest market in West Africa, the country’s data on exports show.

In 2010 Ghana’s non-traditional exports to Togo were worth $118.3m while exports to Nigeria amounted to $96.2m.

The 2010 Non-traditional Export Statistics which was launched at the 72nd National Exporters’ Forum organized for stakeholders in the export business in Ghana by the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) in Accra, indicated that, the trend started in 2009.

Early this year, Ghana and Nigeria signed a bilateral agreement to govern trade between the two countries. Nigeria has for more than four years before 2010, banned the importation of over 150 products, either from abroad or the ECOWAS sub-region, in spite of various trade liberalisation policies in the sub-region.

Some reasons that have been attributed to the decline in Ghanas’ exports to Nigeria are mainly as a result of Nigeria’s Ban/Prohibited List as well as problems exporters encounter conveying their goods to Nigeria especially at the Seme border, officials of the Authority have told

The 2010 Statistics indicates that the approaches and procedures involved in the organization and participation of trade fairs and exhibitions would be reviewed to make them more beneficial to exporters and the nation.

According to Kobina Ade Coker, the Chairman, Governing Council, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, with funding support of the Tradecom Facility of the ACP-EU Commission based in Brussels, GEPA will in October this year implement a major project that will lead to the identification of new markets for Ghanaian products in Western and Eastern Europe as well as in West Africa for export products such as pineapples, mangoes, dried pepper, dried ginger, fresh yams, botanical raw materials, aluminium and plastics utensils as well as construction materials.

He said that, one area that the Authority will pursue vigorously is the enterprise and product development approach which involves the identification of targeted companies and products for specific markets. These companies, he explained, would benefit from structured training assistance that would make them better prepared to face up to the market demands and competition.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

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