The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SNV Netherlands Development Organisation to support Green businesses and create 5,000 Jobs under the “GrEEn” project in Ghana.
The four-year project also known as Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana would be implemented in selected Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across the Ashanti and Western Regions.
At the event, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh said the partnership aimed at creating economic and employment opportunities for youth, women by promoting and supporting sustainable green businesses.
She said the initiative was in line with governments’ agenda to equip the teeming unemployed youth with entrepreneurial skills and provide sustainable jobs.
According to her, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana have focused on the conventional areas of trade and commerce and had done little about exploring business opportunities in areas such as renewable energy, water, Sanitation and Hygiene.
She noted that “these areas have fantastic opportunities that can be leveraged to create sustainable jobs for the teeming unemployed youth”.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said as the country sought to restructure the economy during and after the COVID-19, emphasis must be placed on exploring these new and under-explored areas of wealth and job creation to stimulate micro businesses for a sustainable future.
“This calls for special attention on the agriculture sector, renewable energy, water, Sanitation and Hygiene, and that is exactly what this MoU aims to do,” she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said that before the COVID-19, the NBSSI had facilitated MSME access to credit of about GH₵ 38 million adding that with the outbreak of COVID-19, NBSSI has advanced credit to over 240,000 MSMEs out of about 800,000 that applied for government stimulus package.”
She added that over the last three years, NBSSI had assisted in the establishment of over 250,000 MSMEs.
She disclosed that “In the coming years and with the transitioning of NBSSI to the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the Agency will be more resourced and poised to do more”.
On the part of the Country Director of SNV Netherland Development Organisation, Anjo van Tom said the MOU is a win-win for the two organisations as the world is rapidly changing and recognising the importance of promoting green jobs to save the environment.
He noted that the MOU will also afford the NBSSSI to participate in the green steering committee at the national level. There would also be the creation of synergies between interventions and NBSSI development centres at the national, regional and Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assembly level. Government COVID-19 recovery plan and MSME policies would be supported among others.