GIZ and partner target 10,000 sustainable jobs through Ghanaian SMEs

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in partnership with COGNOS International, an Ontario-based business intelligence and performance management company, is working at creating “decent sustainable jobs” for young people in the country.

Under the Invest for Jobs initiative, it is expected that about 10,000 jobs would be created, while the working conditions of about 18,000 people in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country would be improved by 2025.

Funded by the German Government through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the initiative has put together measures to also support European and other African companies in investment activities that have a high impact on employment.

Three cohorts of 20 each, from agribusiness/and cosmetics sectors, furniture/wood industry, and fashion/textile, went through two-weeks of the “Ghana-German SME Exchange and Training Programme,” which ended on Friday in Accra.

The first phase of the programme, being implemented and managed by COGNOS, saw beneficiaries provided with capacity building trainings on leadership, international business, design thinking, sales, marketing and financial planning.

The next phase of the programme would be a two-week business trip to Germany with all the 60 companies to create strong partnerships with German counterparts, meet potential business partners, and create a win-win situation for both sides in May and June 2022.

In a media engagement at the end of the workshop for the last cohort (fashion/textile), Mr John Duti, the Ghana Team Lead for Invest in Jobs, said the choice of SMEs was because most of the employment opportunities in the country were largely in the private sector, where SMEs operated.

He said: “The private sector is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. They represent about 85 per cent of businesses and contribute about 70 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (ITC, 2018). It is, therefore, imperative that they are supported to grow and to expand their frontiers by joining the international markets.”

He explained that the exchange programme was to empower young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to expand their businesses, and create sustainable and decent employment for others.

It was to also enable them to become globally competitive, be ambassadors of change in their respective fields, and generate at least 300 jobs by the end of the programme.

Mr Duti asked beneficiaries to be innovative in using the waste generated from their respective fields to support the climate change agenda and urged them to “begin to learn about how to go green.”

Mr Timo Tekhaus, Head of Operations of COGNOS, said: “We are extremely happy with the results of this two-week workshop in Accra and look forward to the programme in Germany by end of May. It will be exciting to see the young Ghanaian entrepreneurs connecting and exchanging with representatives of the German fashion industry in Hamburg and Berlin.”

A beneficiary, Mr Johnson Opoku Donkor, the Creative Director of Jonmmo, an indigenous arts and fabric design company, told the Ghana News Agency that they were positioned to be globally competitive and create jobs for others.

For her part, Ms Mabel Simpson, Team Lead for mSimps, a handmade accessories and clothing company, said, the training served as a refresher course, and an opportunity to know and network with others for mutual benefit.

They expressed gratitude to GIZ and COGNOS International for the opportunity and support.

Source: GNA

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