Invest In Africa to enhance capacity of SMEs

Invest in Africa (IIA), a not for profit organisation committed to creating prospering African economies, has been contracted by AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited (AGAG) to enhance the capacities of 100 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Obuasi particularly, and Ghana generally.

Under this programme, IIA will provide free business advisory support to selected businesses. The Initiative is fully funded by AGAG under its Enterprise Development and Capacity Building Programme (EDCBP). AGAG’s Obuasi Mine was re-opened early this year after a four-year period of being under care and maintenance.

The mine’s re-opening has been welcomed by members of the Obuasi community with excitement, due to the prospects it holds for the local economy. It is estimated that over 2,000 new jobs will be created, and a boost in business activities within the town is also expected to improve the livelihoods of community members.

The EDCBP forms part of AGA`s comprehensive local content strategy that ensures, to the extent possible, suppliers and other production inputs are sourced locally.

Under the programme, IIA is expected to deploy strategies aimed at building sustainable Ghanaian-owned companies which can contribute meaningfully to job creation, socio-economic growth; and in the long-term, capable of being competitive in the broader market.  IIA is therefore required to equip these Ghanaian SME businesses with entrepreneurial, technical and managerial skills; improve their capacity to be competitive locally; build a solid foundation for them to compete at a higher level; prepare them to be investment-ready; and facilitate access to finance and business linkages for the SMEs that enables them to become financially independent.

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The Managing Director of AGAG, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, said impacting communities where AGA operates positively is in line with the company’s values.

Commenting on the contract, Mr. Clarence Nartey – Country Director of IIA, expressed delight with the opportunity to work with AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine to boost the town’s local economy. “This is a real community level programme, and we are excited about the impact it will have on not just the beneficiary companies but also the indirect employment opportunities that will be created for the residents as well.”

He noted that it is an opportunity to develop SMEs to fit into AGAG’s supply chain, and for the SMEs to be more competitive. “We intend to open-up our African Partner Pool (APP) platform to the beneficiaries and help facilitate additional business for them. Those with the required capacity to do business with the about-12 multinational organisations on the APP will be given that opportunity,” Mr. Nartey stated.

The contract, which starts from August this year, will be initially for one year but with potential for an extension. Shortlisting of beneficiary SMEs, who will be drawn from AGA’s supplier list, is currently under way.

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