Invest In Africa, (IIA), an NGO committed to growing SMEs, has set a vision to create 100,000 jobs in the country by end of 2022.
The project, dubbed ‘Vision 2022’, was launched in Accra as part of activities to celebrate its fourth-year anniversary in Ghana.
Currently, the IIA through its three main pillars for supporting SMES – access to markets, access to finance, and access to skills – has become a one-stop shop solution for SME and sustainable enterprise development, and a job-creation partner.
It has so far, through the African Partner Pool (APP), supported about 30,000 jobs. It is on the back of this that it has launched the Vision 2022 project, which seeks to add an additional 70,000 jobs through US$500million worth of contracts in the next four years.
Country Manager for Invest In Africa, Clarence Nartey, commenting on the theme ‘Repositioning for the Future’, said his outfit seeks to achieve the Vision 2022 project by targetting six key sectors of the economy: namely agriculture, construction, extractives (oil and gas, and mining), and ICT.
Mr. Nartey explained that focus is being shifted to these sectors primarily because they are high growth sectors of the economy which are closely aligned with government’s sector priorities, and have a strong development impact.
He further announced that Invest In Africa has outlined a strategy to build the capacity of 50 SMEs on the APP to become what it terms ‘Home Grown Buyers’.
These 50 SMEs will be supported and helped to build their supply chain/procurement capacities, prioritise them for financing opportunities, and assisted with strategic marketing support for them to become a major catalyst for driving business activity on the APP and contribute to job creation and prosperity by sub-contracting procurement opportunities to smaller SMEs.
Also at the event was Programme Director for the IIA, Will Pollen, who congratulated the Ghana team for the hard work they have put in over the last four years, which has resulted in many milestones achieved.
He encouraged them to work on achieving the ‘Vision 2022’, as it will impact positively on the country’s economy in the form of providing jobs and income to many.
IIA milestones through the three pillars
Access to Markets
Through the APP, IIA has connected 12 multi-national and local buyers to 1,500 suppliers; which in turn has provided contracts valued at US$150m to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the African Partner Pool.
Access to Finance
With the help of its banking partners (Ecobank and more recently GCB), IIA has helped facilitate almost US$1m of credit support to SMEs.
Access to Skills
The IIA has empowered 230 local SMEs by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial & technical competencies through funding from the African Development Bank.
Mr. Nartey acknowledged the support of the 10 partners who have supported its activities, saying: “We could never have achieved these without the support of our 10 partners, donors, 15 buyers, 1,500 SMEs and the IIA team”.