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Made-in-Ghana expo close with 60 exhibitors

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Stella Ansah (3rd right), Team Lead, MSME Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry assisted by Daniel Jrull (right), German Ambassador to Ghana, Mathias Afting (1st right), MD, COGNOS International at the opening of the expo

More than 60 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) converged on the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), the venue of the German Cooperation “Made-in-Ghana” Expo to showcase a variety of goods and services to the public.

It was also to create the necessary exposure for the investment community.

The Expo is part of the Ghana-Germany SME Training and Exchange Programme, which is being implemented by COGNOS International with support from Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Development Agency (GIZ) and partners.

The event, which was open to the public, presented a networking opportunity for potential business partners and a shopping opportunity for patrons interested in food and beverages, cosmetics, shea butter, furniture, decorative items, fashion and textiles.

The concept

Opening the expo in Accra on August 17, the Country Director of GIZ Ghana, Regina Bauerochse Barbosa, stated that the expo was an opportunity to deepen understanding on the important contribution of SMEs to growth and job creation.

“We can rely on the creativity, innovations and ideas made in Ghana, thereby supporting sustainable growth and employment creation. Let’s promote Ghanaian products in Ghana and beyond,” she stated.

He said they were supported through training and matchmaking opportunities with European companies, was underpinned by the idea of building the capacities of these SMEs with growth and export potential to improve their readiness to compete in national and international markets.

Entrepreneurial spirit

The German Ambassador to Ghana, Daniel Krull, said entrepreneurial spirit was the driving force of the country’s economic development, inclusive growth and creating jobs for a growing number of hopeful Ghanaians.

He said today’s expo was proof of outstanding creativity, innovation and the rich Ghanaian culture.

“I commend all the promising entrepreneurs participating in the programme. We are proud to share this part of your exciting journey. I am convinced that you will make ‘Made- in-Ghana’ a great success and a prestigious brand across the world,” he said.

Non-traditional exports

On her part, the Team Leader of the MSME Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Stella Ansah, noted that Ghana in recent times was leveraging the promotion of Non-Traditional Exports (NTEs) to diversify its economy.

She said Germany, in this regard, was seen as a formidable ally whose market was capable of giving authentic Ghanaian products and SMEs the needed visibility.

The Managing Director (MD) of COGNOS International, Mathias Afting, expressed delight in the SMEs and how far they have come.

“We are really impressed by the Ghanaian companies and entrepreneurs we have met and are proud of the number of jobs that have been able to create. It demonstrates the power of collaboration between Europe and Africa,” he said.

Mr Afting emphasised that the 60 SMEs will continue to receive follow-up coaching to further strengthen their operations.