Kumasi, Aug. 18, GNA- Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), has launched the Kumasi edition of the “Green SME Networking Festival”.
The initiative being implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) aims at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to create decent jobs and improve eco-friendly production and products in Ghana.
The August 17-19 event brings together representatives from business associations and government agencies, such as the festival’s co-host, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana Chamber of Commerce, and Industry, among others.
It is being held under the theme “Promoting Green Business Practices for a Sustainable Future.”
It is expected that about 100 SMEs with interest in eco-friendly manufacturing especially, in agro-processing, fashion & textile, and cosmetics sectors will partake in a series of workshops in sustainable business practices.
The festival will also hold seminars on access to markets through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and e-commerce which is being supported by the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the Pan-African E-Commerce Initiative, both programmes which are being implemented by GIZ.
Additionally, the participants will be able to engage in business-to-business meetings, network with financial service providers and business associations, pitch business ideas, and participate in product exhibition events.
Mr John Duti, Team Leader of Invest for Jobs at GIZ Ghana, speaking at the launch in Kumasi, explained that the participating SMEs were in sectors that were most strategic in terms of export potential, job creation and most importantly for the green agenda.
“It is therefore imperative that businesses in these sectors are supported to grow in an eco-friendly way to employ more people.
We expect that they will create green and decent jobs following this training and the support we provide”, he stated
Mr Duti pointed out that the world was at a brink, saying “we are all witnesses to the effects of global warming, we see the harm we are causing to the environment and the effects are grave.”
He indicated that although the government had implemented programmes to tackle the effects of climate change in Ghana, the SMEs needed to be exposed to the effects and how they could contribute towards mitigating it through their activities.
He believed that “green” was the way to go now, and encouraged SMEs to play roles that could sustain the ecosystem.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Chief Executive of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, said it was relieving that strategies to equip businesses with the relevant information and tools to implement more green strategies and respond to the environment was receiving traction.
She said sustainable business practices had become a moral imperative and added that with relevant information operators would make excellent business sense.
The Green SME Networking Festival has already been launched in Accra and will be launched in Tamale in a few weeks.