Sixty Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country are set to benefit from a German government-funded grant that seeks to create sustainable jobs
The SME grant scheme for job creation, ‘Invest for Jobs’, is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Its objective is to provide a comprehensive demand-based support package to 60 growth-oriented SMEs in the manufacturing sector, to enhance their productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, innovation and job creation.
SMEs under the project will receive technical training as well as financial assistance for the procurement of critical machinery, tools and equipment needed for core operations of their businesses.
According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the manufacturing sector is the fourth-largest sector of the Ghanaian economy, and represents about 92 percent of establishments in Ghana’s industry sector.
Manufacturing also contributed GH¢19,195million to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, representing 10.44 percent of GDP in 2019, and remains one of the major sources of employment for the nations’ workforce – accounting for 18.6 percent of total employment.
The project was officially inaugurated during the opening session of the first in a series of 3-day training workshops held in Accra. The SMEs will receive training in supply chain management and financial management during the workshop. The workshop will also serve as an opportunity for peer-learning among the SMEs.
During the event, the Team Leader of Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation (Invest for Jobs), John Duti, explained that: “One of ‘Invest for Jobs’ key objectives is to enhance the productivity and job-creation capacities of Ghanaian SMEs through the implementation of demand-driven support measures”.
Mr. Duti added: “We are therefore very excited to partner with the AGI – one of the largest member-based organisations, whose support to development of the industrial sector over the years must not be underestimated – in putting together this project to promote the full potential of these SMEs, particularly in the area of job creation. By the end of 2022, we expect to create at least 120 jobs through this project”.
On his part, CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, welcomed the intervention by GIZ as timely and urged the beneficiary SMEs to take full advantage for the benefit of their various businesses. He stressed that the AGI will continue working with GIZ to extend the intervention, based on successes to be chalked up with the current project.
Some SMEs expressed their optimism that the combination of technical and financial support will go a long way to boost their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness. The remaining workshops will be held in three other zones: namely Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale within the next 4 weeks.
The initiative on training and Job creation – operating under the brand ‘Invest for Jobs’ – is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, among others.