The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and Nigeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) are considering the creation of a common platform for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The link which would take the form of an intra-African trade show, when confirmed, is expected to improve the MSME sector in Ghana and Nigeria.
This came to light when a delegation from BOI, a development finance institution, owned by the Federal Government of Nigeria, visited the offices of the GEA in Accra, last Wednesday.
The visit was for BOI to build relationship with GEA and learn how the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS) is being implemented.
It also afforded the delegation an opportunity to share ideas on how to enhance and expand operations of MSMEs in both countries, to take advantage of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Officials of both institutions discussed areas of interest and potential partnership that would be of great benefit if they leveraged on AfCFTA to strengthen bilateral trade among the two countries.
A Senior Analyst – Internal Operations, Growth and Partnerships Micro Enterprises, Nwosu Nnaemeka, said the bank was focused on providing loan credit facilities for industrial development for Nigerian companies.
He said its mandate was to transform the industrial sector by providing financial and advisory support for the setting up of projects/enterprises and the expansion, diversification, rehabilitation and modernisation of existing enterprises.
Mr Nnaemeka said the target sub-sectors include agro-processing, solid minerals, information technology, oil and gas and creative industry as well as funds for the production or manufacturing sector.
He said BOI’s collaboration with GEA would, therefore, help the bank to share best practices with the GEA and ‘tap’ into the expertise of the GEA team.
Mr Nnaemeka commended the GEA Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, for ‘pushing’ the growth of MSMEs and transforming the institution from National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) to GEA.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said over the last four years, the focus of GEA had been to transition the institution to become the pivot to support and cushion MSME development.
“Due to this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry had developed the first ever MSME policy to drive development in the sector to ensure that better programmes and policies were designed to support them,” she said.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh mentioned that over the last four years, the agency had been able to provide support to over 700,000 businesses, and offered over GH¢ 800 million credit and grant facilities to MSMEs through projects and programmes (CAPBuSS), Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Programme (NkosuoProgramme), Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works, SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme.
BY TIMES REPORTER