Trade associations need financial management, product standardization capacity

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Ghana’s National Chamber of Commerce (GNCCl) says business associations need financial management, product standardization, sales coaching, packaging, prospecting and marketing studies. market, as well as transport to optimize operations.

He said the main areas with limited or no service delivery were negotiation and signing of commercial contracts, transportation, commercial disputes and direct intervention at checkpoints.

Mr Julius Bradford Lamptey, Research and Advocacy Officer, GNCCI, said this during a study validation workshop to assess priority capacity building needs of targeted small cross-border traders and their association.

The workshop was organized in collaboration with the West Africa Trade Facilitation Program (TFWA) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.

The TFWA program aims to improve the free and efficient movement of goods in the region and internationally by reducing the time and cost of trade borne by the private sector in West Africa, and by strengthening the capacity of regional trade networks. to take advantage of these improvements.

The TFWA program is a five-year initiative (September 2018 – June 2023) and receives funding of $ 75 million to improve trade facilitation measures in West Africa.

It is also about improving the movement of goods along selected corridors and reducing barriers for small traders and other key stakeholders, especially women, through reforms and trade facilitation programs.

The research chief said the research results generally indicated that the service delivery to members was good.

However, he said some of the services required by members were not available or poorly provided, such as negotiating and signing trade contracts, transport, trade disputes and direct intervention at checkpoints.

Mr Lamptey said that by focusing on small cross-border traders, their main priority needs were capacity building, training, technical assistance and credit financing.

He said that to improve the quality of services, companies and professional associations needed quality human resources assistance; networking; Business Management; funding; technical assistance; and direction.

“Association leaders were asked to prioritize their needs and the three main needs were credit financing, capacity building and technical assistance,” he added.

He said the objective of the research was to identify priority needs for assistance, training and capacity of trade associations, as well as those representing women traders in West Africa. More specifically, the research aimed to provide support services to small cross-border traders and women in particular.

He said it was to contribute to capacity building and sensitization of members of professional associations and to contribute to specific policy reforms and their implementation, either at regional level or at Member State level. .

GNCCI Managing Director Mark Badu-Aboagye told the Ghanaian News Agency that largely cross-border traders have faced a number of challenges over the years.

He said that what was stated in regional agreements was not happening on the ground.

The CEO said their observations were that likely those who engage in cross-border trade themselves do not even understand the deal.

“So what we are trying to do is help women who are involved in cross border trade to understand the issues related to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said.

He said the program was a sustainable way to provide business support services to members of trade associations.


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