Local footwear industry seeking to make a dent in Ghanaian market

In a bid to attract more foreign direct investment, about 30 SA business people will be travelling to Ghana this week in search of trade and investment opportunities.

The trip is an Outward Trade and Investment Mission arranged by the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

It is funded through the department's export marketing and investment assistance scheme. The scheme is meant to develop export markets for South African products and services, and to drive foreign direct investment flows to the country, the dti said in a statement.

One of the business representatives who will be part of the mission is vice chairperson of the South African Footwear and Leathers Export Council Tavonga Gonyora. The council, which represents 200 footwear and leather manufacturers in South Africa, serves to expose its members to different markets in the world to increase exports of footwear products.

"Our objective for travelling to Ghana is to get as many of our members as possible to partner with the local Ghanaian people who can distribute the South African-made footwear products in Ghana," Gonyora said.

According to Gonyora, Ghana's footwear and leather manufacturing base is not as "big and strong" as it is in South Africa. "There is potential for various cross linkages that can be created through partnerships and direct exports, as well as opportunities to share skills and expertise all of which can enable the South African companies to contribute in the growth of the Ghanaian footwear and leather manufacturing industry."

The council partners with entities such as Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal and Productivity South Africa, to help develop local footwear entrepreneurs in their "export readiness and preparedness". The council also partners with various international fashion houses to educate designers on new trends, so that they can be internationally competitive, Gonyora said.

The mission to Ghana, is an example of the ways the council identifies various markets to which members can export.

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