The countdown to the highly anticipated Central Region Trade, Tourism and Investment Fair is finally down to a few hours as the fair kicks off on Saturday 23rd July.
Preparations have come to an end to give the region and the country a showcase of the region’s economic and tourist potential.
First held in 1998, the fair returns after a 24-year hiatus with the aim of boosting trade and economic activities in the region.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will officially open “Centra Expo 22” with the theme: “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Central Region – Challenges, Prospects and Solutions” on Monday, July 25 after it will have started on Saturday, July 23.
A business forum, a float through Cape Coast, raffles and cultural and cultural exhibitions are among the activities planned to spice up the event.
With an initial target of 500 companies, the expo now hosts up to 300 due to lack of adequate space at the Adisadel School Park, location of the week-long event.
When last checked on Thursday, July 21, 2022, nearly two hundred companies, mainly small, micro and medium enterprises, had already reserved their spaces for the exhibition.
Government agencies such as the Ghana Standard Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority had also secured their stands.
On the other hand, big organizations such as Petersfield and Rey Group, Ghana Bamboo Eco-City Limited, COA FS, Heritage Conservation Trust, Komenda Sugar Development Company Limited, GCB Bank, EXIM Bank and Margins Company Limited had joined the fair as as partners and sponsors. .
A host of diverse attendees, including exhibitors, investors, diplomats, traditional leaders, ministers of state, commercial attachés and chief executives of private and public institutions, are expected to honor and participate in the fair.
The exhibition was widely publicized on social and electronic media with some banners and billboards mounted at viewpoints in Cape Coast.
Mr. Bless Kwame Darkey, Director of the Regional Coordinating Council and Expo Coordinator, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said that all the necessary logistics had been secured and the fair was about to start. begin.
He said negotiations with various hotels and bed and breakfasts to secure accommodation for all potential exhibitors had been conducted.
He explained that the decision to hold a larger fair was reviewed due to the unclear economic environment and a certain level of uncertainty with patronage.
Despite this, he said he was optimistic about the success of the fair, citing the number of companies registered so far.
“The majority of registered companies are SMEs that want to promote at this show because we want them to have the opportunity to invest. We want them to learn new marketing strategies in terms of branding and packaging,” he said.
Mr Darkey said that as it coincided with the Emancipation Day celebrations, the Ghana Heritage Conservation would organize tourist trips as part of the fair for prospective tourists.
In terms of health, he said that a health center would be set up on the grounds of the event with emergency ambulances to deal with any emergencies that might arise.
He said they partnered with waste management company Zoomlion to provide trash cans as well as portable toilets to ensure proper sanitation during the event.
“I implore people to also take some responsibility so they don’t litter anyway because it’s an opportunity to make Cape Coast super clean,” he said.
Mr Darkey said the event grounds would be easily accessible for people with disabilities, adding that recreational facilities would be created for children to play.
He said the fair provides unlimited opportunities for businesses and the region as it will boost the local economy and reduce social vices.
He, for example, noted that EXIM Bank would identify exhibitors with international standard products for promotion at future international trade fairs.
The exhibition coordinator pointed out that the fair has come to stay, adding that next year there will be district fairs as a prelude to the regional fair.
“We invite everyone from the region and from outside to come and attend this exhibition. It is time for us to change the narrative, where people perceive the central region as one of the poorest. It will take everyone on board through a change of mindset, perseverance and hard work,” Mr. Darkey said.
Meanwhile, the Central Regional Police Command guaranteed maximum safety and security throughout the exhibition.
DCOP, Mr Alexander Amenyo, Regional Police Commander, said a joint team of 215 police, prisons and fire personnel divided into eight contingents would be deployed to various positions throughout the fair , which would start from 08:00 to 20:00 each. daytime.
He assured in an interview with the Ghana News Agency that there would be no room for security breaches as such gatherings were a hotbed of hostile activities like violent extremism and hostile political undertakings. unjustified.
He said non-uniformed personnel from the Department of Criminal Investigations, Bureau of Police Intelligence and Professional Standards, National Bureau of Intelligence and National Security would be on the ground to offer support.
A patrol team, he said, would also be deployed to bolster security in other areas of the central regional capital, adding that “we cannot leave the public unattended”.
“We are anticipating a level of traffic congestion and so the Motor Traffic and Transportation Unit will be at the station to ease traffic congestion and provide comfort to commuters and attendees,” he added.
No roads will be blocked during the fair, he noted.
“Each team will be assigned specific tasks. Some will be assigned to take care of reception areas and other strategic locations.
“We have prepared to monitor them to prevent any unfortunate incident and therefore participants should feel free to attend the event,” assured DCOP Amenyo.