Trade fair company is broke – Two grand events threatened

The Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited is facing serious financial challenges, which have crippled its activities.

The situation threatens the upcoming Grand Sales, which would co-locate with the Made-in-Ghana Fair slated for December 15 to 24, 2014.

Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Trade Fair Company, Dr Erasmus Ebenezer Okpoti Koney told The Finder that even though they were working tirelessly to organise the fair, they were constrained by lack of funds.

He explained that the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited depends solely on Internally Generated Funds (IGF) to fund the institution, without subvention from government.

He said the company’s economic challenges have been worsened by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) fair which was organised last year.

Dr Okpoti Koney explained that the ECOWAS fair took prominence over all other activities, adding that unfortunately, the ECOWAS fair was poorly patronised and therefore did not generate revenue.

Consequently, he said the Ghana Trade Fair Company has written letters to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as well as private companies, seeking support in cash and kind, as well as collaboration to organise the trade fair.

He made a passionate appeal to the institutions to respond positively, saying currently the response was negligible.

Dr Okpoti Koney said they do not have the money to even hire artisans to construct sheds for the fair.

He announced that should they receive the necessary response from sponsors, patrons of the fair would not pay gate fees.

Touching on the format of the fair, he said co-locating fairs is the way to go in modern exhibition, saying co-location seeks to bring significant improvement in the organisation of the event, making it more exceptional and exciting.

The Grand Sales 2014 is expected to attract exhibitors both locally and internationally, with a number of activities lined up, including a health walk and screening, musical concert and eating competition. He said Pavilion ‘B’ would house the Grand Sales event while mobile pavilions will be designated for the Made-in-Ghana Fair.

Dr Okpoti Koney said the company’s decision to re-brand the forthcoming Grand Sales was one of the steps to bring partners together to deliberate on the improvement on future fairs.

He said the company was poised to continue to partner stakeholders in the organisation of events to attract investors to boost the economy. He explained that a well-positioned trade fair company would create a platform for businesses to showcase themselves in line with government’s desire to provide an enabling environment for business growth.

He expressed the hope that corporate institutions and other partners would support the company to build a world-class facility to promote business in Ghana.

source : The Finder