Western Regional Minister commends GEXIM for “Western Weekend Market”

The GEXIM “Western Weekend Market” provided a platform for Ghanaian entrepreneurs across the Western and neighboring regions to showcase various top-quality and uniquely packaged Made in Ghana products

The Western Regional Minister and MP for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, has commended the board and management of the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM) for organising a special edition of its popular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) fair, known as the Tuesday Market, in the Western Region.

Dubbed the “Western Weekend Market”, the fair took place at the Takoradi Mall from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 May 2024 between 8am and 10pm daily.

The fair provided a platform for Ghanaian entrepreneurs across the Western and neighbouring regions to showcase various top-quality and uniquely packaged Made in Ghana products.

The regional minister personally took part in the fair on Saturday 18 May 2024. Supported by the deputy chief executive officer of GEXIM responsible for banking, Rosemary Beryl Archer, Okyere Darko-Mensah inspected the Made in Ghana products on display and took time to engage the vendors to gain insights into their business operations and products.

Speaking to members of the press after the event, Okyere Darko-Mensah congratulated GEXIM for the initiative to support SMEs to scale up and harness their export potential. Impressed with the unique and amazing products exhibited, the minister urged the bank to organise more fairs in the region to benefit the growing cohort o entrepreneurs in the Western Region.

“It is exciting and refreshing to be seeing these uniquely packaged products here today and most importantly, knowing there were products by Ghanaians and most of them produced in the Western Region,” the minister said.

“I am very impressed with the work that has gone into organising this amazing fair and I wish to commend the Ghana Export-Import Bank for this great initiative, in addition to all the great things the bank is doing for and with Ghanaian entrepreneurs across the country.

GEXIM “Western Weekend Market” (17-18 May 2024) in Takoradi. The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah (centre), addresses guests

“I must say it is the way to go, as it contributes towards economic development and the creation of jobs for Ghanaians. With this initiative and others, we are on our way to achieving the Government of Ghana’s industrialisation agenda.

“We will urge GEXIM to continue with the fair in the Western Region and the SME Clinic to help build the capacity of SMEs in the region and beyond,” Okyere Darko-Mensah said.

For her part, Rosemary Beryl Archer expressed the bank’s appreciation to the minister and all stakeholders who made the “Western Weekend Market” a success. She further highlighted the significance of developing Ghana’s SME sector and the important contribution entrepreneurs can make to economic development when they are empowered and supported to become more efficient.

“I am happy we have all these SMEs here today and they are being promoted both locally and internationally to be patronised. We cannot belittle the crucial role of SMEs in the national development agenda, witnessing the sector’s important contribution to the economic transformation of several countries globally, where it accounts for over 50% of private output.

“We have had some great feedback from the vendors, which indicates how the fair has broadened their knowledge base from engagement with their colleagues from other regions. We are looking at sending some of the SMEs from the Western Region to our SME fairs in other regions to get them aligned with what their colleagues in other regions are doing,” she said.

On the sidelines of the “Western Weekend Market”, the bank organised a training programme for the SMEs – the “SME Clinic” – on Saturday (18 May) also at the Takoradi Mall.

The “Western SME Clinic” was designed to build the capacity of entrepreneurs, exploring solutions to challenges faced by Ghanaian businesses as well as identifying pragmatic approaches to assist SMEs to scale up and become more efficient in their operations.

Under the theme “Growing Your Business and Export Financing”, the participants were taken through important elements of business development and growth as well as the export value chain. They were further enlightened on the concept of governance, risk and compliance in business management.

Nana Ekua Kodu II, the queen mother of the Essikado Traditional Area, and the multiple-award-winning Ghanaian musician Kofi Kinaata were among the dignitaries who attended the “Western Weekend Market”.

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