German Cooperation and Association of Ghana Industries Partner to Enhance Production Capacity of Over 50 SMEs

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German Cooperation and Association of Ghana Industries Partner to Enhance Production Capacity of Over 50 SMEs

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German Cooperation and Association of Ghana Industries Partner to Enhance Production Capacity of Over 50 SMEs

The German Cooperation, in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has launched the “African SME Network for Exchange and Trade” (AfNEXT).

AfNEXT is an initiative to increase the production capacity and export readiness of small and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

The project offers a combination of financial and technical assistance, aimed at increasing the production capacity of more than 50 Ghanaian SMEs through equipment support and improving their export readiness through training and consulting services.

This support will enable them to expand their customer base on a domestic, regional, and global level. Another focus is the promotion of green and energy efficient production.

Speaking on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which is implementing the project on behalf of the German Federal Government, Mr. John Duti highlighted that AfNEXT is in line with the objective to improve the capacities of Ghanaian SMEs.

He said focus will be on growth and export potential to expand beyond the shores of Ghana and generate sustainable growth, particularly by creating more decent jobs to tackle the unemployment deficit faced by the country.

It is expected that through AfNEXT, about 350 new decent jobs will be created. Mr. Duti added that, on the other hand, AfNEXT aims to reduce the dependence on imports from overseas, thereby strengthening African economies and markets.

AfNEXT activities will also be implemented in Egypt and Ethiopia through partnership with Sequa, to allow exchanges between SMEs from different African countries.

On his part, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah, C.E.O of AGI, stated that “the support from the German Government, through GIZ, will have a significant impact on our SMEs in upscaling their operations, making them more efficient, and becoming more competitive in the Ghanaian business environment. It will also impact their export competitiveness and enable them to take advantage of the Continental Free Trade Agreement.”

AfNEXT builds on the success of the ‘SME Grant Scheme for Job Creation project’ implemented in 2022 by GIZ and the AGI within the framework of the Special Initiative “Decent Work for a Just Transition” of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

65 Ghanaian SMEs were supported to acquire equipment and tools needed for their core operations to enable them to expand and create jobs.

SMEs in Africa play a major role in economic development and industrialization, especially in the manufacturing sectors such as Agri-processing, cosmetics, and fashion, as they produce a huge variety of products.

Source: 3news

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