2024 World Shea Expo inaugurated to advance shea value chain

The 2024 World Shea Expo has been inaugurated in Tamale to maximise prospects in the shea industry through intensified collaboration with players in the shea business.

The inauguration, held under the theme: “Shea Sustainability Expo 2024: Nurturing Growth, Empowering Communities” was in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Tree Crop Development Authority, University for Development Studies (UDS) among other partners.

It brought together various actors in the shea value chain including women shea pickers, farmers, processors, aggregators, and researchers among other associations and financial institutions.

Mr Adams Tampuri, Executive Director of the 2024 World Shea Expo, speaking during the inauguration, said it was to foster inclusive economic growth and enhance livelihoods through sustainable industry development as well as promote gender equality, community resilience and preserve cultural heritage with emphasis on social inclusion within the shea value chain.

He said the 2024 World Shea Expo would prioritise environmental stewardship with the commitment to advance conservation, climate resilience and ecosystem sustainability to protect shea tree resources and biodiversity.

He said, “We would strive to catalyse market access, value addition and global competitiveness for shea products through innovation, technology and market diversification.”

Mr Tampuri, touching on the theme for the inauguration, said it aligned perfectly with the vision for the 2024 World Shea Expo, adding that it emphasised more on sustainable development, community empowerment, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

He said selected products from the Expo would be showcased in North America through the Canada Africa Trade and Innovation Expo 2024 in Ontario, Canada on September 5 and 6, 2024, bolstered by the esteemed support of the World Super Foods Expo.

Hajia Samira Bawumia, Wife of Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, whose speech was read on her behalf, said the shea industry had provided income and employment opportunities for thousands of women and other young people.

She said significant contributions from government agencies such as COCOBOD, GEPA, Tree Crop Development Authority and other development partners had propelled the fast growth of the sector.

She called on all stakeholders, government institutions, private sector players and other international partners to remain steadfast in their support for the shea sector.

Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister said the Expo epitomised the commitment of government and other stakeholders towards advancing the shea industry as it offered the forum for engagement and exchange of knowledge to delve into potential avenues for expansion.

He called on actors in the shea value chain to commit to conservation efforts and responsible harvesting practices to ensure the sustainability of the shea industry.

Source: GNA

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