IIA NEWS IN Ghana

Project Development of Sangomar Field workshop was co-organised with Woodside and SIA on march, 5, 2020 at Onomo Hotel with 170 local SMEs in attendance.

 

The objective of the workshop was to share with the participants the followings:

  • The project development of Sangomar field with its different phases
  • Woodside’s upcoming tenders
  • SIA Timeline of local content opportunities they seek to source locally depending on existing capabilities.
  • SIA tendering process requirements and supplier qualification
  • SIA Legal and compliance aspect of the scope of their work
  • IIA’s three flagship programmes ( Access to Market, training & Finance)

 

The workshop shed the light on the values that IIA can bring to the IOC’s and its tier1s and local companies from Senemeca’s testimonial which illustrated the work behind the scene IIA is currently doing to support local SMEs and the importance our supplier development programmes to reinforce local capabilities to meet the international standards through our training & certification partners whom we have signed up with and have agreed to apply a discounted rate for all our SMEs registered onto the platform and to prepare local companies to be competitive.

 

That being said, Woodside mentioned that a series of similar project briefing with its tier1s will take place and to expect another one in April with Halliburton and Baker Hughes ( dates TBC).

Pierre Emmanuel Boulanger from SIA urged the local companies (attendees) to have a chat with its Procurement Manager, Fabrication Manager and Engineering Manager to have a better grasp of their requirements and needs for their upcoming opportunities.

 

By and large, the event was a true success with a great number of attendance, precisely 170 companies attended and have left the conference with valuable information and have congratulated IIA for pulling this together and as a result of that my phone is ringing off the hook for meeting requests next week.

 

To conclude, we would like to thank our dear Founding Members for such visibility they are giving to IIA, the trust and seamless support bestowed on us and relentless commitment to making IIA a one stop shop for the Oil and Gas industry.

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Job title: Invest in Africa -IIA- (UK)- Account Executive  
 
The ideal candidate will be passionate about breaking into the African business and / or international
development space.

This entry level role is for someone who is looking to build their knowledge and understanding of
working in African investment and /or development sector. Although defined by primarily important but
routine, supporting tasks the role also has great scope for someone with initiative, proactivity and a
desire to over deliver to develop it into a larger role. For example, with direct project accountability and
oversight of the marketing function.

Job purpose  
To provide important operational support to the team of project managers and senior management in
the London office of Invest in Africa. This includes being on top of all the detail of day to day reporting
and back office functions as well as coordinating with colleagues in regional (Africa) offices to ensure
efficient ways of working across all programmes and systems. The role will also require oversight for the
day to day relationship with IIAs marketing agency, including the production of presentations, case
studies and some social media / website activity.
 
 
 Duties and responsibilities  
  

1. Liaise with IIAs African offices/colleagues to ensure coordinated approach across IIAs key programmes
2. Produce regular reports, case studies, impact summaries for use in IIAs presentations and marketing
3. Liaise with all IIAs third party providers and suppliers to ensure all contracts competitive and up to date
4. Manage all ‘back office’ functions (Salesforce, Project Place, travel, insurance, some aspects of finance)
5. Manage relationships with marketing agency to see work is produced on brief, on time and on budget
6. Support the UK team with materials and research
7. Run and manage all IIA UK related events (approx. 3 p.a) 
8. Including the planning yearly calendar of events, guest lists, venue, media etc. 
9. Oversee content management, master contacts database and in time upkeep of the official IIA website 
10. Create and edit some marketing materials including brochures and videos
11. Create and send out the company's quarterly newsletter 
12. Manage IIA’s social media accounts through frequent posts, online promotion  

Qualifications / Experience
•    Degree level graduate, or equivalent 
•    3+ years of business experience preferable 
•    Strong written and verbal communication skills 
•    Strong organisational skills 
•    Able to work to tight deadlines on more than one task at a time (ie multitask under pressure) 
• Must have a natural tendency to take the initiative on work with a proactive mindset 

All applicants must have eligibility to work in the UK and be available to work in London as of April / May
2020.

Please send CV and short covering letter to michael.amaning@investinafrica.com 

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June 11, 2019, Accra: Invest in Africa (IIA), a not for profit organisation committed to creating prospering African economies, has been contracted by AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited (AGAG), to enhance capacities of 100 Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Obuasi particularly, and Ghana generally. 

Under this programme IIA would provide free business advisory support to selected businesses. The Initiative is fully funded by AGAG under its Enterprise Development and Capacity Building Programme (EDCBP). AGAG’s Obuasi Mine was re-opened early this year after a four-year period of being under care and maintenance. The re-opening of the mine has been welcomed by members of the Obuasi community with excitement due to the prospects that it holds for the local economy. It is estimated that over 2000 new jobs will be created and a boost in business activities within the town is also expected to improve the livelihoods of community members.

The EDCBP forms part of AGA`s comprehensive local content strategy that ensures that to the extent possible, suppliers and other production inputs are sourced locally.  Under the programme, IIA is expected to deploy strategies aimed at building sustainable Ghanaian owned companies, which can contribute meaningfully to job creation, socio-economic growth, and in the long term, capable of being competitive in the broader market.  IIA is therefore required to equip these Ghanaian SME businesses with entrepreneurial, technical and managerial skills, improve their capacity to be competitive locally, build a solid foundation for them to compete at a higher level, prepare them to be investment ready, facilitate access to finance and business linkages for the SMEs that enables them to become  financially independent.

The Managing Director of AGAG, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, said impacting communities where AGA operates positively is in line with the company’s values.

Commenting on the contract, Mr. Clarence Nartey, Country Director of IIA expressed delight about the opportunity to work with AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine to boost the local economy of the town. “This is a real community level programme and we are excited about the impact it will have on not just the beneficiary companies but the indirect employment opportunities that would be created for the residents as well.”

He noted that it is an opportunity to develop SMEs to fit into AGAG’s supply chain and for the SME’s to be more competitive. “We intend to open up our African Partner Pool (APP) platform to the beneficiaries and help facilitate additional business for them. Those with the required capacity to do business with the about 12 multinational organisations on the APP will be given that opportunity”, Mr. Nartey stated.

The contract, which starts from August this year, will be for an initial one year but with potential for an extension. Shortlisting of beneficiary SMEs, who will be drawn from AGA’s supplier list, is currently under way.  END.

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Accra–Ghana, 31st January 2020: Invest in Africa (IIA) is positioning Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) under its programmes, to enable them to explore opportunities that come with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. 

The AfCFTA becomes operational on 1st June 2020 and is expected to create the world’s largest free trade Zone with over 1billion consumers, a potential $3 trillion economy and zero tariffs on goods traded across countries.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr Clarence Nartey remarked that IIA is investing to adequately prepare its SMEs to harness the market opportunities this agreement will provide. To start with he indicated that there is still work to be done to educate /sensitise the private sector on both the opportunities and threats that this agreement comes with and work to develop a competitive AfCFTA strategy.  From an IIA perspective, the good news is that some of its suppliers are already engaged in Pan-African trade – equivalent to c.15% of IIA’s active supplier pool. However, this is not enough and the organisation is committed to increasing this to 40% in a few years.

This will be done through rolling out its AfDB- sponsored flagship Business Linkage Programme  – which focuses on integrating SMEs into supply chains of MNC’s & Large Local organisations by improving their competitiveness and building their long-term capacity,- across 11 countries. Leveraging ICT in the form of IIA’s Digital infrastructure – an online marketplace that connects  50 Buyers and 5500 suppliers across Africa- to accelerate cross-border and regional value chain integration and rapidly scaling-up SMEs through its “Home Grown Buyer project” all of which should position IIA’s SMEs to be regionally competitive.

Mr Nartey stated this at the 3rd IIA SME Excellence Awards held in Accra today. The Awards Scheme honours indigenous businesses who have demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence and developed the capacity to participate in supply chains of large local and international companies. This year's awards ceremony was under the theme; “Preparing Local Businesses for Regional Market Opportunities #AfCFTA ready”.

Nine (9) SMEs were awarded for excelling in their respective categories. They are; Young Entrepreneur of the year- BTL Africa Marketing Limited, Sustainable Business of the Year- Jekora Ventures, Business Transformation- Aidec Holdings Limited, Business Linkage- Lightingale Limited, Business Technology Growth- Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, Business Innovation of the Year- Agriaccess Ghana Limited,  Mentorship Recognition- Agriaccess Ghana Limited and Scale-Up Business of the Year - Western Premium Company Limited. The IIA Star Award for Excellence was awarded to Joissam Ghana Limited.

The Executive Chairman of AB & David Africa Mr David Ofosu Dorte, who delivered the Keynote address, underscored the need for SMEs to enhance their competitiveness by upgrading the standards of their products and expanding production capacity in order to maximize the benefits from AFCFTA.

The Country Manager of African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Mr Sebastian Okeke, was the Guest Speaker. He expressed the AfDB’s commitment to continue its partnership with IIA through the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), to support the growth of Ghanaian SMEs and promote local content.

Mr Okeke said through this partnership, some SMEs in the agricultural, oil and gas, financial services and telecommunication sectors among others, have been supported with access to skills, market and finance. “The business skills of more than 300 SMEs have been enhanced and over $2 million worth of credit has been secured for them through IIA’s partner banks”, he noted.

The event was attended by other IIA’s partners- Tullow Ghana, Modec Production Services, Ghana JV, EY, AB & David, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, Ecobank Ghana, GGBL, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)and Multi-Media Limited.

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Invest in Africa has named Mrs. Georgette Barnes Sakyi-Addo, Founder and Executive Director of Georgette Barnes Limited, as the Woman Entreprenuer of the Year at its SME Excellence Awards.

The awards ceremony held late last month recognized the role played by Mrs. Sakyi-Addo in establishing an astute owned Mine Support Service business, which provides key exploration and drilling supplies to mining clients in West Africa and represents six (6) internationally known sector brands.

The Executive Director of Georgette Barnes Limited described the recognition as an “exciting experience.”

“We have been working since 2009 and we are a bit secluded from mainstream general business, and so I was also very surprised that our business was chosen being a female owned business working in the male mining dominated sector,” she said.

A citation in honour of Mrs. Sakyi-Addo said she has been able to rise from the position of Administrative Assistant to various director-level positions in her illustrious career before establishing her own firm.

While she remains grateful to Invest in Africa for the Award, she opined that this award would not necessary give her company any special boost regarding its clients.

“What matters is that you deliver what you are supposed to deliver in the manner it was approved to deliver. Having said that, it is a great for building our corporate brand and also a validation of what our clients have always believed and seen in a company as small as ours,” she stated.

On her advice to young people seeking a career in the extractives sector, she argued that there are a lot of opportunities for young people in the sector and they need to explore the subject area and disciplines that would give them the competitive advantage to work in the sector.

“Along the mining value chain, we have all the regular jobs that are available in general industry and then we have specialised roles as well. I would encourage them to explore all these opportunities.

A lot of the large scale mines are looking for top notch requisite skills and talent and I believe Ghana has them but young people have to be prepared to learn, acquire skills, be prepared to be inconvenienced, be patient and grow over time,” she added

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Accra–Ghana, 28 January, 2019: Invest in Africa (IIA) has honoured nine (9) SMEs at the 2nd edition of its SME Excellence Awards held in Accra.

The SME Excellence Awards is a platform that showcases and celebrates the achievements of successful businesses and individuals of entrepreneurial excellence who have experienced IIA’s three benefit platforms; ‘access to skills’, ‘access to markets’, and ‘access to finance’.

The Nine (9) SMEs were recognised for performing excellently in various aspects of their respective businesses. They are; WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Georgette Barnes Limited, YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Agriaccess Ghana Limited, BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, BUSINESS LINKAGE AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited, BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY GROWTH AWARD - Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, BUSINESS INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Liranz Limited, MENTORSHIP RECOGNITION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, SCALE-UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited.

The ultimate award, IIA STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE went to AIDEC Holdings Limited, a downstream fuel retailing and petroleum haulage company.

The Accounts and Finance Manager of AIDEC Holdings Limited Mr. Hector Awaana who received the award, expressed his gratitude to IIA and its partners, on behalf of the award winners, for the support being offered to SMEs in the Country. “The training in entrepreneurship we received from IIA has enhanced our operations and we are grateful”, he added.

The event was organized under the theme “Supporting SMEs – Key to Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Prosperity.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr. Clarence Nartey underscored the need for SMEs to be supported to grow. He said SMEs employ between 60-90% of Africa’s population thus supporting them will enable SMEs contribute more to prospering African Economies. “IIA has in the past four years provided $150million worth of contracts to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the African Partner Pool (APP), $1.2 million worth of credit support to SMEs, trained 230 SME’s and supported 32,000 jobs” He noted.

He disclosed that going forward, IIA has prioritised 6 strategic sectors for support as part of its long -term broad-based growth strategy. These are; Financial Services, Agriculture, Construction, Extractives (Oil & Gas & Mining) and ICT. “IIA is investing millions of dollars to build the long -term capacity of local suppliers across these sectors in order to drive sustained growth and job creation” Mr. Nartey stated.” He reiterated IIA’s vision 2022 agenda to provide $500million worth of contracts to SMEs and 100,000 jobs for Ghanaians.

He commended the government for recognising the important role of SMEs and taking appropriate steps to create the enabling environment for their growth. “It is great to see that our Government through its 10-point Industrial Transformation Agenda has rightly identified SME development and Industrial subcontracting exchange as two key growth pillars”, he said. Mr. Nartey further commended the Ministry of Trade & Industry for formulating the Draft National MSME Policy, which is a necessary first step towards creating a true entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana.

The Special Guest Speaker, Mr. Kweku Awotwi in his speech emphasized the critical role of SMEs in national development. He said in this regard, Tullow Ghana Limited has committed itself to using the services of local suppliers. “Local content has significant input and influence in our procurement processes. We currently have 75% of contracts in our procurement plan earmarked for indigenous companies and joint ventures between indigenous companies and foreign companies who can transfer knowledge, skills, experience and technology to the indigenous partners” he stated.

He further noted that; “since 2010, Tullow Ghana Limited has invested $15billion on rigs, well development among others and $9.5billion out of the amount was awarded to companies that have joint venture partners in the country.

Dr. Sebastian Okeke, Country Programme Manager for the African Development Bank (AfDB) reiterated the commitment of his organization to continue to support SMEs through its Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme. “AfDB has created various instruments to ensure that Africa’s private sector is well equipped to rise above its current challenges” he stated.

The event was attended by other IIA’s partners - EY, AB & David Africa, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV, Ecobank Ghana, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

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Barclays Bank Ghana (Barclays) has committed to providing SMEs enrolled with Invest In Africa (IIA) credit support to expand their businesses. This forms part of a partnership established between the Bank and IIA through which Barclays will also provide other forms of enterprise development assistance.

 

IIA is a not for profit organisation with the vision to create Prospering African Economies. The organisation has in the past four years facilitated over $1million credit support to SMEs through its ‘Access-to-Finance’ benefit offering. Mr. Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana’s Country Director, expressed delight at the partnership with Barclays and how it will result in more funds being made available to support the growth of SMEs. “The benefits to our SMEs are enormous. These include; access to world class business advisory services, short-term loans, supply chain financing and project financing at competitive rates. This should enable them grow their businesses and create more jobs in the economy”, Mr. Nartey said.

 

According to him, the partnership is very strategic because Barclays’ Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) programme has similar objectives as IIA’s three (3) prong benefit offerings. To date IIA’s ‘Access-to-Markets’ pillar, delivered through its online marketplace platform the African Partner Pool (APP), has provided Ghanaian SMEs with business opportunities valued at $150m. IIA’s ‘Access-to-Skills’ pillar, delivered through a suite of training programmes, has empowered over 230 SMEs by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies.

Barclays Bank Ghana’s Business Banking Director, Mrs. Grace Anim-Yeboah, says through the programme, Barclays aims to help SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate organisations get access to funding to enable them fulfill their orders and increase their competitiveness. “Our partnership with IIA is not only borne out of the recognition that, the growth of SMEs is critical to the growth of Ghana’s economy but also out of our renewed commitement to Ghana as we rebrand to Absa - an African bank with a global scale”, Mrs. Anim-Yeboah explains.

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Invest In Africa (IIA) Ghana says as part of its vision for the next four years, it is awarding $500 million worth of contracts to medium-sized enterprises and creating 100,000 jobs.This was revealed during the celebration of four years of impact from 2014-2018 dubbed 'Celebrating milestones, Repositioning for the future'.

Looking back at the first four years of operation, Country Manager of Invest in Africa, Clarence Nartey said the organization had awarded contracts worth ¢150 million to local businesses, facilitated 1 million dollars’ worth of credit and trained over 200 SMEs.

“Frankly, these achievements are impressive. We now have a firm foundation and a good business model in place to build on into the future. But we could never have achieved this without the support of our 10 partners and donors, 12 Buyers, 1500 SME’s and the phenomenal IIA team in Ghana”, he said.

The IIA is also poised to becoming a self-sustaining organisation. This means it would not rely on donor-funding as is the case now.

“Achieving these goals will require a re-thinking of some of our operating principles, sharper prioritisation and faster mobilisation of internally generated funds”, Mr Nartey noted.The IIA, Mr Nartey noted will focus on three things, i.e. future recruitments would target Medium-Sized enterprises with an annual turnover of $250k and beyond.

It would also prioritize key sectors of the economy - Finance, Agriculture, Construction and Extractives and ICT (FACE-ICT).

The third area would be to boost communication, highlighting the three benefits of Invest in Africa including access to markets, skills and finance.

The anniversary commemoration saw the launch of a new app, APP 2.0 which easily connects buyers and suppliers on its African Partner Pool (APP).

“This new software provides a real-time connection between SMEs and the buyers, provides data and analytics and opportunity to do procurement directly”, Ghana Manager of APP Ibrahima Aminu explained.

IIA awarded its leading partners for their support in their 4-year journey of impact. The Multimedia Group was awarded the leading online, TV and radio media partner.
IIA Ghana is a non-profitable organization which seeks to provide solutions to Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) such as access to market, funding and skills to expand to a wider market.

Since its inception, it has partnered with leading private companies like Tullow Oil, Ghana Commercial Bank, Multimedia Group and others to help execute its initiative.

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Yasmin and her company received training through IIA’s Business linkage programme (BLP). The BLP is IIA’s $4m training and mentorship programme designed to assist small and medium enterprises to fast track their businesses from locally good to globally competitive. Yasmin’s company (Africa Bagg Recruitment) went on to win the Woman Entrepreneur Award at the Invest in Africa awards 2016.

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Lydia Tioko (Loteiteleit Company Limited, Kenya)

 

Lydia and her SME also accessed finance through Invest in Africa’s Invest in Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

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Below are other Woman led SMEs we’d like to recognise that we work with to provide new markets, skills and finance to.

Betty Gichuki (Create A Tee Limited)

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Rael Mzee Ochodo (Chairperson, Akiberan Aberu Suppliers Limited- Turkana County)

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Hadija Jama (Founder and Director, Darubini Screening International Co Ltd Nairobi)

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Victoria Joseph (CEO, Design One)

 

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For ‘Women in Business’ day this September, we are highlighting all the hardworking business women within Invest in Africa’s (IIA) network, partners and local economies (Ghana, Kenya and Senegal).

We’d like to recognise Akiberan Aberu Suppliers and Contractors Ltd, a wholly women-owned and run business based in Turkana, Kenya. Akiberan Aberu Suppliers were actually the first SME to secure a loan through IIA’s Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

Yasmin Boamah (African Bagg Recruitment, Ghana)

Yasmin and her company received training through IIA’s Business linkage programme (BLP). The BLP is IIA’s $4m training and mentorship programme designed to assist small and medium enterprises to fast track their businesses from locally good to globally competitive. Yasmin’s company (Africa Bagg Recruitment) went on to win the Woman Entrepreneur Award at the Invest in Africa awards 2016.

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Lydia Tioko (Loteiteleit Company Limited, Kenya)

 

Lydia and her SME also accessed finance through Invest in Africa’s Invest in Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

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Below are other Woman led SMEs we’d like to recognise that we work with to provide new markets, skills and finance to.

Betty Gichuki (Create A Tee Limited)

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Rael Mzee Ochodo (Chairperson, Akiberan Aberu Suppliers Limited- Turkana County)

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Hadija Jama (Founder and Director, Darubini Screening International Co Ltd Nairobi)

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Victoria Joseph (CEO, Design One)

 

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It’s been four years since Invest In Africa (IIA) kicked off its operations in Ghana. IIA is a not-for-profit organisation committed to addressing the challenges of identifying credible local suppliers, developing local content and driving cross sector growth across the economy as a whole.

Together with its leading partners, IIA does three main things:

1. Connects multinationals and larger businesses to credible local suppliers (SMEs);

2. Improves these SMEs access to skills, contracts and finance to build long term capacity; and

3. Helps improve the investment climate and quality of policy discussions in the country.

Access to Skills

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) in 2013 awarded IIA a US$1 million grant, their first in Ghana, to deliver the Business Linkage Programme (BLP), a training and mentorship programme that offers SMEs the tools needed to improve their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical capacities. IIA’s partners have also committed over US$3 million benefit-in kind support to the programme. Through another subsdised programme called the Business Accelerated Programme (BAP), funded by the Dutch Development Agency (FMO), EY consultants are assigned to high potential SMEs on a one-to-one basis, to help improve their competitiveness. Also, through a collaborative partnership with Canon, 22 Ghanaian companies from the printing industry have been trained in the latest technologies to enhance their capacity and ability to meet international standards.

Through these flagship programmes and others, IIA has delivered over 25,000 hours of capacity building training support to more than 220 SMEs- many of whom have subsequently been linked to larger Corporates for new business opportunities and created at least two jobs

Access to contracts through the African Partner Pool

The African Partner Pool (APP) is an online marketplace launched by IIA in 2014 to bridge the gap between large companies with procurement needs, referred to as buyers, and SMEs. The rationale behind the APP was borne out of the difficulty local SMEs face in making themselves visible to larger companies. The APP, therefore, is a community where buyers and suppliers across can engage each another, discover new opportunities and grow their business. The APP directory allows SMEs to promote the products and services they can deliver and the standards they can deliver to, making it easier for big companies to find the right suppliers.

Since the introduction of the APP, total volume of contracts won by suppliers has hit 111 (valued at US$151 million). Approximately US$116 million of the total value has been retained in-country. Today, the number of suppliers on the APP is over 1500. IIA through the APP has supported c.32,000 jobs in Ghana over the period.

Access to finance

This is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing SMEs in the country and indeed across Africa. Most banks are unwilling to advance loans to SMEs mainly because of their perceived risk (weak structures, poor financial records, etc) which do not make them bankable. IIA’s ‘Access to Skills’ pillar plays a crucial role in helping APP registered SMEs put in place the necessary structures that will make them less risky and bankable for banks to advance loans to them. So far, approximately US$1million of credit has been disbursed to SMEs through IIA’s banking partners.

These three platforms, have helped build the capacities of SMEs, improved their competitiveness and positioned them on an accelerated path to playing on a global stage.

Challenges

Even though IIA has made great strides in the past 4 years, success has not come on a silver platter. Whilst IIA’s focus on SMEs and multi-sector approach ensures it has a broad-based economic impact, it also means high risk exposure/vulnerability to economic shocks.

For example, the ongoing volatility in the financial sector has affected the IIA ecosystem in two key ways. Firstly, one of its local partners, UT Bank folded up. Secondly, the reduction in credit to the private sector has also affected the ability of some of their SMEs to source credit to operate/expand their business.

It also experienced relatively slower tender activity on the APP platform last year due to slower economic activity. As a result, it was not able to facilitate as many business linkages (and contracts) as it would have liked to for their suppliers.

The Country Director, Clarence Nartey added that, “the organisation has to constantly work to get the right balance between our bold ambitions and the resources needed to deliver them. Most of the time, especially in the case of a not-for-profit, the latter lags behind the former. But thanks to support from our partners, donors and promising self-financing initiatives we are currently pursuing the gap is narrowing.”

Going Forward

Mr. Nartey added that, “going forward, we want to build on the solid foundation laid over the past four years.

The first job to be done is a brand re-positioning one: to communicate our unique integrated brand proposition to our core target audience. We haven’t done this holistically and consistently in the past.

Secondly, we will get sharper on prioritisation by trading our wide breadth of scope for depth in our sectors of focus. Going forward we are prioritizing six key sectors of the economy which will form the basis of our local content efforts. These sectors are oil and gas, mining, financial services, ICT, agribusiness and construction. These are high growth sectors that are closely aligned with the Government’s sector priorities. They also have a strong developmental impact, especially from a job creation point of view. We have re-structured our organization to better align the team with this sector-focus. This approach will ensure we build relevant domain expertise, which will be key in our business partnering to key IIA partners in these core sectors.

We will also be driving a stronger inclusive growth agenda within the IIA ecosystem -as part of our sustainable growth strategy. Any growth plan that does not take into account supplier growth is not sustainable. For this reason one of the key initiatives we will be focusing on is the ‘Homegrown Buyers’ Project. We are identifying between 50 to 100 high potential SMEs who have the ability to grow to become buyers. We will work with these suppliers and build their capacities so that they can in turn sub-contract some of their procurement to ‘smaller’ SMEs on the APP platform.”

Mr. Nartey further stated that the APP platform will soon be re-launched (October 4th, 2018) with improved value-added features: providing more real-time business opportunities and making it easier for more buyer -to supplier and supplier-to-supplier interactions.

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