The U.S Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie S. Sullivan, has announced a new co-investment scheme by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) totalling $4.2 million to support five companies operating in the country.
The five companies under the scheme would be presented with grants to help them expand their businesses and employ more people.
The beneficiary companies are AMAATI Company Ltd, receiving a grant of $742,000, DTRT Apparel, $760,000 FreezeLink, $767,000 Maphlix Trust, $970,000 and Nuts 4 Growth, $980,000.
Ambassador Sullivan made the announcement during the U.S. Embassy’s Providing Opportunity for Women’s Economic Rise (POWER) programme for women entrepreneurs from Ghana and the North American diaspora.
“These projects, leveraged with private sector funds, will help these companies scale up operations, develop export opportunities, and create jobs,” she said.
The Ambassador said as part of Women’s History Month, the Embassy, in collaboration with Howard University and the International Trade Centre, was hosting the Women’s Empowerment Lab.
The programme, Ms Sullivan said would help Ghanaian and American women entrepreneurs take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) to grow their businesses by seizing export opportunities, while facilitating networking opportunities across the Atlantic.
“The West Africa Trade and Investment Hub was created to help entrepreneurs like those participating in the Women’s Empowerment Lab take advantage of export opportunities. Ghanaian companies can export more than 6,500 goods duty-free to the United States today, and the AfCFTA opens up a $3.4 trillion market. These co-investments will help these companies access African and U.S. markets, while creating jobs here in Ghana,” said Ambassador Sullivan.
She said co-created at USAID/Ghana, the grants were aimed at deepening the United States’ commercial relationship with Africa in line with the Prosper Africa Initiative, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and President Biden’s Build Back Better World initiative.
She said the grants build on USAID/Ghana’s work to drive large-scale development by supporting firms poised for catalytic growth.
“By leveraging USAID’s co-investments, these companies are expected to generate over $45 million in private investment, increase exports by $166 million, and create more than 2,000 new jobs, mostly for women and youth,” Ambassador Sullivan said.
She said the Prosper Africa was the U.S government initiative to substantially increase two-way trade and investment between African countries and the United States.
Ambassador Sullivan said the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub was a USAID funded activity that catalysed economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs and increase the value of regional international exports in West Africa.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE