Invest in Africa (IIA) has launched the African Partner Pool (APP), Ghana’s first cross-sector online business directory for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).
This cross-sector directory - under the URL: www.africanpartnerpool.com - was created to simplify the local sourcing process by connecting independently validated Ghanaian SMEs with large international and domestic companies. The directory aims to increase the visibility of Ghanaian SMEs and support international and domestic companies who want maximise their local supply chains quicker and more cost effectively.
Local businesses registered on the APP will have a profile page to promote their business on, whilst international & domestic companies are able to use a search tool to help them find suppliers with the qualifications, experience and standards they need. A tender notice board will also feature buyers’ tenders from across sectors, giving local businesses greater access to opportunities.
The APP was developed in response to a “David and Goliath: Creating a level playing field for Ghanaian SMEs” survey, which IIA commissioned in early 2014. According to the research, international companies seeking local partners faced difficulty identifying credible local SMEs from which to procure goods and services. Whereas, nearly eight in ten SME managers reported facing obstacles when trying to win contracts from international companies, due to a lack of access to information about the international companies’ procurement processes.
“The African Partner Pool is the core of IIA’s work in Ghana. This directory will assist local suppliers to promote their businesses and increase their ability to tender more competitively. It will also help them access training and support from Invest in Africa’s Partners and the African Development Bank to build capacity and grow their businesses,” said Sam Brandful, Invest In Africa’s Ghana Country Manager.
The APP was launched in the UK at the DMA UK-Ghana Trade and Investment Forum event on the 23rd of October at the Marriot Hotel in London. Attendees of this event included 500 investors, His Excellency President John Mahama, Ghana Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh and a host of other distinguished ministers of Ghana.
It was officially launched in Ghana on the 28th of October at the Alisa Hotel in Accra. This was also attended by senior government figures including ministers and the CEO of GIPC, Ms. Mawuena Trebarh. Senior figures from leading companies and banks such as Tullow Oil, EY, Ecobank, UT Bank, Vodafone and the African Development Bank were also in attendance.
215 Ghanaian businesses ranging from light industry, manufacturing, procurement and logistics are currently registered to operate on the APP while 250 others are in the process of completing their registration.
VIDEO: Invest in Africa is interviewed by CNBC Africa on the recent launch of the APP