THE Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) Invest for Jobs has launched the Green SME Networking Festival, a three-day event aimed at supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) toward creating decent jobs and improving eco-friendly production and products in Ghana.
The launch, which took place at the Accra International Conference Centre, brought together several representatives from business associations and government agencies, such as the festival’s co-host, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Development Bank Ghana, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Association of Ghana Industries, the Management Development and Productivity Institute, among others.
The three-day festival witnessed the participation of 100 SMEs with an interest in eco-friendly manufacturing, mainly from the agro-processing, fashion & textile, and cosmetics sectors. The SMEs partook in a series of business games and workshops on various topics related to eco-friendly and sustainable business practices.
Seminars on access to markets through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and e-commerce were offered with the support of the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the Pan-African E-commerce Initiative – both programmes also implemented by GIZ.
Additionally, the participants would be able to engage in business-to-business meetings, network with financial service providers and business associations, pitch business ideas, and participate in product exhibition events.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, lauded the organisers of the festival during her speech, noting that it was in line with government’s goal to create jobs for the teeming youths on a sustainable basis.
She wished the participants, especially the exhibitors, a happy festival; and expressed the hope that they would seize the opportunity to build very useful network – the very core of the event – to improve their efficiency and productivity by employing eco-friendly production, certification, and improve access to finance and investment opportunities.
On his part, John Duti, Team Leader of Invest for Jobs at GIZ Ghana, explained that promoting the green agenda was one of the key focal areas of Invest for Jobs and its commissioning body, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. He highlighted that SMEs have a key role to play in the green agenda, and encouraged them to rethink their business models in an eco-friendly way to ensure sustainable business growth.
GIZ is commissioned by the German Government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and implements international cooperation services for sustainable development in partnership with state and non-state actors based on agreements reached by governments.
As part of the Ghana-German cooperation, GIZ has been involved in supporting a wide range of sectors for over 30 years. As agreed between the governments of Germany and Ghana, GIZ is boosting Ghana’s potential by focusing its projects on three priority areas: climate and energy; training and sustainable growth for decent jobs; peaceful and inclusive societies.