The Central Region Trade, Tourism and Investment Fair aimed at boosting trade and economic activities in the region has been launched in Cape Coast.
Dubbed “CENTRAL EXPO 22”, the program promises business opportunities and partnerships, networking and job creation with the sole aim of projecting the potentials of the region and repositioning it for accelerated development.
The regional trade fair, first held in 1998, is back after 24 years as an annual event with 500 exhibitors expected from all sectors of the region.
It would be held at Adisadel Park in Cape Coast from Saturday July 23 to Saturday July 30, 2022, with the theme: “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Central Region – Challenges, Opportunities and Solutions”.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has planned to officially open the expo on Monday, July 25 with at least 32 missions and embassies expected for the event.
A plethora of activities including a float through Cape Coast, raffles, cultural exhibitions and a business forum at the Ridge Royal Hotel were organized to spice up the event.
The Center Region Coordination Council (CRCC) and the Center Region Development Commission (CEDECOM), organizers of the fair, therefore assured the public of a very “exciting, eventful and successful” fair.
Ms. Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, at the launch of the exhibition, explained that the event was in line with the regional development strategy and the transformation agenda of the RCC.
She said the vision was to boost economic activities in different parts of the region and beyond, harness its economic potential and attract private sector investment.
“It is my fervent hope and belief that interested companies and investors will take advantage of the business forum to discuss and identify possible business ventures and places to invest in the region,” she added.
The minister encouraged all metropolitan, municipal and district general managers to take keen interest in the exhibition by organizing exhibitors in their respective jurisdictions and publicizing possible investment opportunities in their fields.
She said it was up to all stakeholders to position themselves to propel the region to the desired height.
“The strength we need to achieve this goal is the strength that comes from collective leadership, solidarity and unity of purpose. We must all remain focused and engaged in our efforts to transform the central region,” she charged.
Odeefuo Amoakwa Buadu VIII, the president of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, called on chiefs in the region to make land available “problem-free” and “dispute-free” for businesses and development projects.
He observed that land disputes were the scourge of the region’s development, indicating that they continued to drive away investors and rob the region of its transformation.
“If we are going to change the narrative in the region and get companies to invest in our region, the chiefs need to make sure that there is trouble-free land available for these companies to come and drive the development agenda” , did he declare.
Odeefuo Buadu also lamented the poor road network in the region which he said is a major impediment to the development of the region.
“Our roads are in poor condition and do not give us a good basis for development and economic growth. It is my call to act quickly on the poor road network,” he remarked.
For his part, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, the Oguaamanhen, who lamented the negative image of the region, urged all stakeholders to fully support the exhibition for the development of the region.
“We are not doing it for ourselves but for the region. Let’s expose the region for what it is and what it has. If you don’t blow your own horn, no one will,” he said.
DCOP Alexander Kwami Amenyo, the Central Regional Police Commander, provided strict security to ward off disbelievers and prevent criminal activities during the exhibition.
He said a thousand police would be deployed to provide security throughout the event.