Ghana earned 1.2 billion dollars from non- traditional exports last year, up 30.5 per cent from 892 million dollars in 2006, according to official figures released in Accra on Thursday.
This compares with some 4.2 billion dollars earned from total exports of the West African country.
Collins Boateng, Executive Secretary of Ghana Export Promotion Council (GEPC), said the growth was achieved on the back of earnings from three main sub-sectors – agriculture, processed and semi-processed products and handicrafts.
Cocoa paste, canned tuna, veneer, cocoa butter, sheanuts and pineapples are among the 10 leading non-traditional exports. Ghana’s traditional exports are cocoa, gold, timber, bauxite and manganese.
“We are on course and our ability to cross the psychological one billion-dollar mark is proof that the strategy we have drawn up is working,” Boateng told a press briefing in Accra.
The GEPC Council set the one billion-dollar target in its non-traditional exports growth strategy some three years ago.
Boateng attributed the performance to enhanced market access programmes for exporting companies, product diversification, aggressiveness of Ghanaian exporters and availability of enhanced data.
The European Union and ECOWAS remained the major destination of the exports, accounting for 46.55 per cent and 31.36 per cent respectively.
On the outlook for 2008, GEPC plans to establish a marketing company to address the marketing problems of small holder farmers and thereby address supply side constraints, and strengthening institutional capacity of the Council.
Boateng said with aggressive implementation of the programme Ghana hoped to rake in about 1.5 billion dollars by December 2008 from the non-traditional exports.