The European Union funded Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project has ended with 400,000.00 euros invested in small and medium agro-processing companies to attract investment, improve suppliers’ linkages to larger companies and increases exports.
The Project has contributed to inclusive growth in Ghana by helping to create formal jobs across the agri-business value-chain and to reducing poverty and increasing living standards. The Project has also helped agribusinesses to engage and negotiate with importers and prepare a roadmap to address key export-related issues (e.g., customs requirements, certification standards, and product development options).
Speaking at the closing event, EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly said, “Today we have seen tremendous success with this project linking small and medium agro processors in Ghana to bigger markets within the West African Sub-region.”
The Project is part of the five-year GESP and focused on three components; investment promotion; business linkages and export to ECOWAS sub-region.
The CEO of the Association of Ghana Industries, Seth Twum Akwaboah, said “The closure event confirms the satisfaction of all counterparts and beneficiaries in their own words and, therefore, effectiveness of the GESP programme and the Project thus far.”
The project Manager, Joao Monteiro Paes said “among many other important initiatives, we have organised business-to-business meetings with prospective buyers in Cape Verde and in Burkina Faso for Ghanaian agri-businesses. The success of these meetings with buyers has been tangible and encouraging. 1 trial order for supply of prepared foods has been secured, 4 commercial offers requested, and 2 proposals to sell as sole agents have been received; also, the agri-businesses have gained valuable first-hand experience of negotiating with commercial buyers for their products.”
The Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project was implemented in partnership with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is a component of the five-year Ghana Employment and Social Protection (GESP) Programme. Under this Programme, the EU mobilised EUR 26 Million. The total budget for the Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project is EUR 4.5 million.
GESP Programme with its holistic approach boosted the creation of linkages among social protection, employment, skills development and investment promotion areas at national, regional and district level.
To this effect the Programme incorporated four (4) key interlinked and mutually supportive result areas:
Key Result 1: Enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of the social protection system at the MoGCSP and the local level and strengthen the legal and regulatory framework for social protection and establish mechanisms to promote social accountability including a grievance system and provides modernisation of training and curricula at the institutions active in the social protection education and training.
Key Result 2: Improved Employment Policy Management at central and local level support the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations’ effective management of the National Employment Policy while strengthening the performance capacity and conditions of the Labour Departments and Public Employment Centres.
Key Result 3: Strengthened technical and vocational education (TVET) and training opportunities for the informal sector and in agricultural value chains aims at enhancing the institutional coordination, monitoring and legal framework in TVET as well as promoting awareness of employment opportunities in that field and in the agriculture sector.
Key result 4: Improved access to effective Business Development Services and finance in an enabling business environment. This result encompasses the Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project which is now reaching its term..