Invest in Africa targets $500 million worth of contracts

Accra, Oct. 4, GNA – Invest in Africa (IIA), a
one stop shop for Small and Medium Enterprises, on Thursday launched an
ambitious plan to attract business opportunities worth $500million in the next
four years.

The goal, sets out in its Vision 2022 plan,
would also see the creation of 100,000 jobs within the target period.

Mr Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana Country
Director, who announced this, at the fourth anniversary celebration of IIA in
Accra, said the not-for-profit organisation, would adopt a three-prong approach
to deliver on the objective.

As a first step to achieving the purpose, the
model would target high growth Medium enterprises with an annual turnover of
$250,000 to achieve the goal.

He said the grand purpose is to develop these
SMEs to become globally competitive.

“Going forward would develop and train these
medium sized enterprises with growth oriented mindset, ready to scale up, not
satisfied at playing at the local level but also playing on the global scale as
well,” he said.

In addition, the IIA would also focus on six
key prioritised sectors, the financial services, Agriculture, construction,
extractives- the oil and gas sector, mining and ICT.

“These are high growth sectors, aligned with
long-term government priorities, leaning towards local content compliance and
having strong developmental impact because of their ability to create jobs,” he
said.

Mr Nartey said the plan also aim to make IAA a
self-sustaining business as companies based on donations are no longer viable
in the long-term, exploit fast growing opportunities and to leverage
digitalisation to build internal capacity.

“We are also restructuring our internal
organisation to ensure structure follow and invest in key partners,” he said.

He said achieving the goals would require a
rethink in some of the operating principles, prioritisation and quick
mobilisation of internally generated funds.

“We believe on the back of our track record
over the last four years and the commitment of our partners both current and
incoming ones. We should be able to deliver and contribute to enhancing
livelihoods, economic growth and shared prosperity,” he said.

On its four-year anniversary celebration, Mr
Nartey said IAA and its partners had focused during the period on the three key
needs of SMEs; providing better access to markets, skills and finance which was
considered key to improving SMEs competitiveness to stimulate business growth,
job creation and prosperity in the relevant local communities.

He said over the last four-years, IAA was able
to develop an online marketplace called the African Partner Pool (APP),
connecting 15 Multi-National and Local buyers to 1,500 suppliers.

It has also provided opportunities for
contracts valued at $150 million to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the APP and
provided support for some of the SMEs to expand beyond Ghana into new markets
in the sub-region.

Other achievements include the facilitation of
almost $1million of credit to SMEs through partner banks Ecobank and GCB and
improve the entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies of 230 local
SMEs as well as jobs for 30,000 people across the 10 sectors of operation.

“Frankly, these achievements are impressive.
We now have a firm foundation and a good business model in place to build on
into the future,” he said, and commended the contributions of the partners and
donors, buyers and the SMEs.

The four-year celebration on the theme:
“Celebrating Milestones, Repositioning for the Future,” saw the presentation of
plaques to the partners and the launch of a new software version of the APP
application.

Invest in Africa was established in 2012 and
partners leading companies, donor agencies and public organisations with the
vision to create prospering African Economies.

GNA

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