Invest in Africa targets US$500 million worth of contracts

Invest in Africa (IIA), a one stop shop for Small and Medium Enterprises, on Thursday launched an ambitious plan to attract business opportunities worth US$500million in the next four years.

The goal, sets out in its Vision 2022 plan, would also see the creation of 100,000 jobs within the target period.

Mr Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana Country Director, who announced this, at the fourth anniversary celebration of IIA in Accra, said the not-for-profit organisation, would adopt a three-prong approach to deliver on the objective.

As a first step to achieving the purpose, the model would target high growth Medium enterprises with an annual turnover of $250,000 to achieve the goal.

He said the grand purpose is to develop these SMEs to become globally competitive.

“Going forward would develop and train these medium sized enterprises with growth oriented mindset, ready to scale up, not satisfied at playing at the local level but also playing on the global scale as well,” he said.

In addition, the IIA would also focus on six key prioritised sectors, the financial services, Agriculture, construction, extractives- the oil and gas sector, mining and ICT.

“These are high growth sectors, aligned with long-term government priorities, leaning towards local content compliance and having strong developmental impact because of their ability to create jobs,” he said.

Mr Nartey said the plan also aim to make IAA a self-sustaining business as companies based on donations are no longer viable in the long-term, exploit fast growing opportunities and to leverage digitalisation to build internal capacity.

“We are also restructuring our internal organisation to ensure structure follow and invest in key partners,” he said.

He said achieving the goals would require a rethink in some of the operating principles, prioritisation and quick mobilisation of internally generated funds.

“We believe on the back of our track record over the last four years and the commitment of our partners both current and incoming ones. We should be able to deliver and contribute to enhancing livelihoods, economic growth and shared prosperity,” he said.

On its four-year anniversary celebration, Mr Nartey said IAA and its partners had focused during the period on the three key needs of SMEs; providing better access to markets, skills and finance which was considered key to improving SMEs competitiveness to stimulate business growth, job creation and prosperity in the relevant local communities.

He said over the last four-years, IAA was able to develop an online marketplace called the African Partner Pool (APP), connecting 15 Multi-National and Local buyers to 1,500 suppliers.

It has also provided opportunities for contracts valued at $150 million to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the APP and provided support for some of the SMEs to expand beyond Ghana into new markets in the sub-region.

Other achievements include the facilitation of almost $1million of credit to SMEs through partner banks Ecobank and GCB and improve the entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies of 230 local SMEs as well as jobs for 30,000 people across the 10 sectors of operation.

“Frankly, these achievements are impressive. We now have a firm foundation and a good business model in place to build on into the future,” he said, and commended the contributions of the partners and donors, buyers and the SMEs.

The four-year celebration on the theme: “Celebrating Milestones, Repositioning for the Future,” saw the presentation of plaques to the partners and the launch of a new software version of the APP application.

Invest in Africa was established in 2012 and partners leading companies, donor agencies and public organisations with the vision to create prospering African Economies.

GNA

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