Ghana gets €10m from Italy to support entrepreneurs

Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has received a loan of 10 million euros from the Italian Government to support the second phase of the Ghana Private Sector Development Project (GPSDP).

The money was part of a 22-million euro financial assistance approved in 2008 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to continue to support the efforts of government to enhance the private sector.

The successful implementation of the first phase was estimated at 10 million euros.

Dr Joseph Annan, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, who announced this at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, said the main component of the project was a soft loan to support entrepreneurs in the country while the remaining two million euro would be used to manage the credit facility as well as carry out capacity building, micro-projects and to develop industries.

He said the Ministry had received about 450 applications from private companies and financial institutions, adding that beneficiaries should be able to fulfil the eligibility criteria to have access to the credit facility.

Dr Annan said recipient institutions should, among other things have full ownership of their enterprise, operate without military activities, tobacco processing and luxury goods as well as make sure their production activities did not pollute the environment.

The Deputy Minister appealed to beneficiaries to adhere to their repayment schedules and collaborate with the team experts managing the GPSDP to ensure the success of the initiative.

Mr Tullio Guma, Italian Ambassador to Ghana, said the GSPDP was characterised by a strong element of ownership and partnership to bring about an increased responsibility of the Ghanaian institutions.

He said the basis of Italy’s economic development resulted in a high number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which over the years had been able to cope with the rapid changing business environment and globalisation.

“Our expectations are therefore that the Ghana Private Development Project will replicate such a development model in Ghana, especially in view of the challenges of the international financial crisis and the liberalisation of the markets in the framework of the WTO agreements,” he said.

The Italian Ambassador expressed gratitude to the Sector Ministry for its contributions towards the implementation of the project saying the Italian Government has continuously supported the Ghanaian economy to the tune of 19.8 million euros from Italian grants.

Source: GNA

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