IIA PixInvest in Africa (IIA), an independent non-profit partnership organisation with Ghana as its hub, says it will create a better way of doing business in the country by building partnerships between both international investors and local businesses.

“This will be achieved by raising the profile of quality Ghanaian small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) to make it easier for international investors to find the best local firms to partner with,” Sam Brandful, Country Manager of IIA, said this when he called on Mr. Dave Agbenu, Editor of The Ghanaian Times in Accra.

It was part of IIA’s media engagement programme to foster links with media houses in Accra. It actively supports investment in Africa and develops local enterprise with Ghana as its priority market

Mr. Brandful said IIA will also offer the local SMEs critical business skills training to help them become even more internationally competitive and champion the local content agenda.

He said that as part of efforts to forge strong and sustainable links between local suppliers and investors, Invest in Africa would launch an online database known as the African Partner Pool (APP) later on in the year, for local suppliers/businesses, across sectors.

This would serve as a platform to gain visibility for Ghanaian SMEs and connect them with potential foreign and domestic clients. The APP will also offer business skills and management training to help achieve its dual aim of attracting greater investment to Ghana and local SMEs, whilst raising competitiveness.

Mr. Brandful said, “The goal of the APP is to help international companies and purchasers to identify suitable and credible local partners or suppliers, who have the potential to meet key best practice of international standards.”

He added that the web-based directory would add value through IIA’s partners, by providing training, mentoring and coaching to managers of selected businesses, supporting their ultimate aim to become globally competitive.

Responding, Mr. Agbenu said Ghana’s attainment of a lower middle-income status would continue to attract institutions like the IIA to the country to create investment opportunities and to help set the required standards for businesses, which are key to economic growth.

He said it was necessary that institutions doing business in the country, build strong links with the media to enable them understand their missions and visions adequately, so that they could pass on the right information about their operations to the public.

The Editor said very often, investors keep the media in the dark about their operations and would engage them only when they had problems dealing with negative public perceptions.

“We are therefore, happy that you have made it a policy to bring the media on board from the onset, to partner you in creating awareness of your operations which particularly aims at bridging the gap between multi-national companies and local suppliers,” he said.

IIA is supported by a number of partners. They are made up of Tullow Oil, EY formerly (Ernst & Young), Lonrho and Ecobank, as global partners while GIPC, AGI, UT Bank, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), and AB & David Law make up the group of local partners.

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