A two-day event has been held in Accra to equip traditionally disadvantaged Ghanaian entrepreneurs with information that will help them increase client base, both within and outside Ghana.
Hosted by UNOPS Ghana in partnership with Ghana’s Office of the Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement, the UNOPS Possibilities (UP) Forum is a capacity enhancement platform for local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
It seeks to strengthen national capacity in Ghana by providing enterprises owned by traditionally disadvantaged groups in particular, businesses owned by women, youth, people with disabilities with the information and tools needed to help them succeed.
Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba, UNOPS Ghana Country Director and Representative to Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria speaking at the event said: “UNOPS is committed to supporting the government of Ghana in leaving no one behind, in line with its commitments to the SDGs and its own national policy. The UNOPS Possibilities Forum seeks to support enterprises to contribute meaningfully to the development of Ghana.”
Sarah Adwoa Safo, Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement, said, “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises play a crucial role in the development of Ghana and contribute to alleviating poverty.”
She said “92 per cent of companies in Ghana are in this category and they contribute to seventy per cent of Ghana’s GDP, so focusing on them is what we want to do”.
Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, said: “We hope that the UN and in particular UNOPS can assist our ministry to strengthen a sustainability drive for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana.”
In her keynote address, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, Office of the President expressed her appreciation for the collaboration that led to the hosting of the event.
“I am grateful for the collaboration of the Ministry of Procurement and UNOPS, and I hope that the UP Forum will support companies to learn about public procurement processes and opportunities,” she said.
Sylvia Lopez Ekra, Resident Coordinator of Ghana ad interim (IOM Representative), said “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises play a big role in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, as they create employment especially for those often left behind, such as women, youth and people with disabilities.”
Over the course of event, which started July 24, participants have learned more about the government of Ghana’s mechanism that allocates 30 per cent of public procurement to businesses owned by women, youth and people with disability.
They also discussed how to register in the UN Global Market Place and how to do business with UNOPS. Local entrepreneurs also shared their success stories with participants, to inspire them to go forward.