Accra, 16 November 2020 – Invest for Jobs and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) – an agency under Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry – have signed a grant agreement to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Ghana.
The grant agreement called ‘COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme’ is expected to provide Ghanaian SMEs with digital solutions. It is a strategy to adapt to emerging market demands brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. A third partner – the Digital Transformation Centre, also an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implemented by GIZ Ghana, will be responsible for supporting this project with technical expertise to implement digital solutions.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has had significant adverse and debilitating impact on global economies. Ghana is no exception; some businesses were compelled to fold up; “COVID-19 clearly exposed the defects of digital transformation in Ghana, as can be seen in almost all countries around the world; this is why I am really excited to see that we are able to overcome these challenges and that we managed to also explore the opportunities and positive sides of the pandemic,” explained Mr. Gerald Guskowski – Head of Programme for the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition", at GIZ-Ghana. “This partnership will support the digitalisation of up to 500 growth-oriented SMEs, which will in turn help sustain at least 1600 jobs; we want to keep these businesses alive and strengthen their resilience during COVID-19, thereby sustain jobs,” added Mr Guskowski.
The COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme seeks to support SMEs to make full use of digitalisation, to manage their business operations more efficiently, to become more responsive to clients’ needs, to better organise their business information, to have more efficient record keeping and financial management processes in place, thereby facilitating their access to finance and much more. “With COVID-19 still lurking, digitalisation of SMEs remains a front burner issue on the SME policy agenda in Ghana. Consequently, the signing of this agreement marks a critical turning point for SMEs in Ghana, and we are happy to be spearheading this,” highlighted Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Executive Director of NBSSI. “Our partnership with the Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition" provides an opportunity to increase process efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs by providing access to knowledge, technologies, and expertise in the field of digitalisation and process innovation. We stand a chance to better understand and learn more the needs and challenges of SMEs, even beyond digitalisation, to support the policy agenda,” added Mrs Yankey-Ayeh.
The consortium around the company Eranove successfully applied for a grant by the Facility Investing for Employment. The Facility is part of Invest for Jobs. On 26 January 2023, the grant contract for 5.17 million euros was signed in Abidjan. In three years, 14,000 people will attend the various training courses offered by the academy and more than 1,100 jobs are expected to be created.
Since its launch in June 2022, the Soft Landing initiative of Invest for Jobs in Tunisia has facilitated the arrival of 10 European and African IT companies in the country. In return, the companies committed to create over 100 high-quality tech jobs for Tunisians.
To implement BMZ’s development-policy priority areas in the 20th legislative period and to address changing global challenges, the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation will have a new name and focus. As of January 2023, it will be called Special Initiative "Decent Work for a Just Transition".
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