Author: Beyonce Diamond Kpogli
Sixty (60) Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) in Agri-Business, Furniture and Fashion in Ghana have received German Cooperation support to showcase their products at the “Made in Ghana” Expo a trade fair and exhibition event at the Accra International Conference Centre on August 13, 2022.
The Expo is part of the Ghana-Germany SME Training and Exchange Programme, which is being implemented by COGNOS International with support from Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and partners.
The event, which was open to the public presented a networking opportunity for potential business partners and a shopping opportunity for patrons interested in food and beverages, cosmetics, shea butter, furniture, decorative items, fashion and textiles.
In her opening remarks, Ms Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, the Country Director of GIZ Ghana, highlighted that the Made in Ghana Expo is a tremendous opportunity to deepen our understanding of the important contribution of SMEs to growth and job creation.
“We can rely on the creativity, innovations, and ideas made in Ghana, thereby supporting sustainable growth and employment creation. Let’s promote Ghanaian products in Ghana and beyond”, she stated.
According to her, the concept of the Ghana-Germany SME Training and Exchange Programme, which over the past two years has prepared the 60 Ghanaian SMEs through training and matchmaking opportunities with European companies, was underpinned by the idea of building the capacities of these SMEs with growth and export potential to improve their readiness to compete in national and international markets.
Speaking at the event, H.E Daniel Krull, German Ambassador to Ghana said, “Your entrepreneurial spirit is the driving force of Ghana’s economic development, inclusive growth, and creating jobs for a growing number of hopeful Ghanaians.
Today’s expo is proof of outstanding, creativity, innovation and the rich Ghanaian culture. I commend all the promising entrepreneurs participating in the programme. We are proud to share this part of your exciting journey. I am convinced that you will make ‘Made in Ghana’ a great success and a prestigious brand across the world”.
On her part, Mrs Stella Ansah, Team Leader of the MSME Division at the ministry of trade and industry, noted that Ghana in recent times is leveraging on the promotion of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) to diversify its economy. Germany, in this regard, is seen as a formidable ally whose market is capable of giving authentic Ghanaian products and SMEs the needed visibility”.
Mr Mathias Afting, the Managing Director of COGNOS international in conclusion, expressed delight in the SMEs and how far they have come. “We are really impressed by the Ghanaian companies and entrepreneurs we have met and are proud of the number of jobs that have been able to create. It demonstrates the power of collaboration between Europe and Africa”.
Mr Afting emphasised that the 60 SMEs will continue to receive follow-up coaching to strengthen them further.
Mid while Eight entrepreneurs out of the total number have started exporting to the European markets.