The European Union funded Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project, under the Ghana Employment and Social Protection (GESP) programme, has ended with 400,000 euros invested in small and medium agro-processing enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
The four-year project improved the capacities of the SMEs to attract investment, improve suppliers’ linkages to larger companies, and increase exports to the international markets.
It has contributed to inclusive growth in Ghana by helping to create formal jobs across the agri-business value-chain, reduce poverty, and improve living standards.
The project involved in-house training and field study tours to companies in Cape Verde, Burkina Faso and United Arab Emirates to enable agribusinesses to engage and negotiate with importers and prepare a roadmap to address key export-related challenges such as customs requirements, certification standards and products development options.
Additionally, the capacities of institutions like the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) were enhanced to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
At a ceremony to mark the end of the Project in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Irchad Razaaly, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, said the four-year project had witnessed tremendous success in Ghana, helping SMEs, especially agri-businesses and agro-processors, to link up with bigger markets within the West African Sub-region.
Mr Timothy Dolan, Team Lead, Macro-Economic and Trade Section of the EU, said the project had helped agribusinesses to solicit equity funding from other financial entities across the world.
The project, he said, had mentored SMEs to improve on procurement plan, book keeping, and negotiation skills to help their real export potential in the Sub-region.
Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer, AGI, said the testimonies from the beneficiaries confirmed the satisfaction they had derived from the project and believed it would have positive impact on the country’s export base in the not too distant future.
Ms Mercy Akuyea Ashong, the Programme Manager of GESP, under the Ministry of Finance, said it started in 2018 and expected to end officially on December 17, this year.
The GESP comprised four components – Employment, Social Protection, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), and Investment Promotion and Business Linkages and believed that would improve Ghana’s export sector.
The European Union expended 4.5 million euros for the Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project alone, which was implemented in collaboration with the AGI, GEPA and GIPC.