The Obuasi Black Park near the Len Clay Sports Stadium, came alive on Tuesday, February 19, as the first ever Obuasi Clients Exhibition and Trade Show took off to promote products made in Obuasi and Ghana.
The Trade show which is expected to end on February 24, is a collaboration between AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine, Obuasi Municipal Assembly and the Obuasi East District Assembly, was fully funded by AngloGold Ashanti and operationalised by the local arm of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
In his opening remarks, chairman for the exhibition, Emmanuel Martey, branch manager, Ghana Commercial Bank, Obuasi entreated the organisers to plan well in advance to ensure early start and participation from many local entrepreneurs.
The trade show is to create a market for traders and entrepreneurs within the Obuasi enclave by bringing them together and putting them in contact with would-be buyers as well as to showcase their products.
According to Mr. Kelvin Ofori- Atta, head of the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) in Obuasi, the show is very strategic since it is an avenue to build stronger relationships between the various exhibitors as well as strengthen local business associations.
On her part, the acting Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Ms Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey noted that the President of Ghana has interest in developing local economies hence a great time to be in Obuasi and be part of the many positive things happening there.
She reiterated the support of her outfit to ensuring that everything necessary within her jurisdiction is done to help local entrepreneurs especially in accessing finance.
The NBSSI boss said the board has one hundred and seventy-five (175) offices across the country and it's on course to building new business resource centres of which seven are ready with one in Obuasi.
Representing AngloGold Ashanti was the Senior Manager in charge of Sustainability, Nana Ampofo Bekoe, who noted that the exhibition and trade show was to stimulate the local economy and enhance trading activities in the municipality.
He said AngloGold Ashanti in its new phase of redevelopment, was moving from the handing out projects to the people but build strong partnerships with the aim of becoming a catalyst for development.
He noted that it is the hope of AGA that the restart of operations in the mines would increase direct and indirect employment, local procurement, and improve the market size of Obuasi to help rejuvenate the economy of Obuasi.
The Sustainability Manager said that with the contribution, consistency and commitment of all stakeholders, the Obuasi Clients Exhibition and Trade Show would become an annual affair in Obuasi.
The District Chief Executive for Obuasi East, Faustina Amissah, said the trade show gives local entrepreneurs exposure, builds their confidence and reduces poverty since when exhibitions are done, people buy, money is made and families are supported.
She called on community members to overlook gold and rather build their skills since that is what would build the community and ensure generational benefit.
For the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Obuasi, Mr. Elijah Adansi-Bonah, the growth of the economy of Ghana depends on the growth of the local economy.
He stressed on the importance of diversifying the local economy of Obuasi and encouraged “Obuasiman” to take advantage of initiatives such as the Trade show, farming among others to showcase what they have, to grow the economy of Obuasi to help build the “Ghana Beyond Aide” an agenda of the President of Ghana since the mines has its life expectancy and won’t exist forever.
In conclusion, the chairman for the exhibition and Trade show, GCB branch manager for Obuasi, encouraged local entrepreneurs to open accounts with the bank and belong to associations. This he said he noted will boost their chances of securing loans.
He also urged the people to patronise made in Obuasi goods to let the world know that aside mining, Obuasi has other good things to showcase.