Government has announced that a minimum of 8,000 jobs are projected to be created as the Ministry of Business Development in collaboration with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) launch the Ghana Online Mall.
The Ghana Online Mall is an electronic platform created for Ghanaian start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises to enable them reach a larger market with their products and services – both locally and internationally.
According to CEO of the NEIP, John Kumah, the platform will enable entrepreneurs to upload certified products and services – availing such businesses to prospective customers at no cost.
NEIP has three core mandates: which are to provide access to funding; business advisory services; and ensuring access to market.
To address issues related to accessing markets, Mr. Kumah said the NEIP is making available four digital platforms for entrepreneurs to showcase their goods and services. These are the Ghana Online Mall, the Africa Online Mall, the NEIP e-Mall and the NEIP marketplace.
According to him, the Africa Online mall is the international arm of the Ghana Online Mall, with a mission to open markets in the US, Canada, Europe and Africa. The Africa Online Mall will seek partners, financial help and angel investors for the Ghana Online Mall.
He added that the NEIP e-Mall is a marketplace for authentic made in Ghana products, which is a classified website that makes it easier for people to find locally made goods.
However, the NEIP marketplace is a platform for creating digital jobs for the Ghanaian workforce.
Mr. Kumah said: “The digital economy had a market size close to three trillion dollars globally as at 2016. The NEIP marketplace will allow Ghanaians to leverage their skills to participate in the digital economy. It is simply a digital free-landing platform where an individual is not employed by any specific company but is self-employed and works for a variety of clients online. The types of services offered on the NEIP marketplace includes graphic design, web and app programming, video and animation, digital marketing, music and audio services”.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, disclosed that the e-platform will make the businesses of freelancers visible on the global landscape.
He said: “The online mall platform, which will be a pool of services providers with diverse backgrounds, is an avenue for job-creation – especially for our students, unemployed graduates, busy mums, artisans and all those who can offer some form of service in the comfort of their homes. We anticipate creating a minimum of 8,000 jobs from the initiative within the first twelve months”.
According to him, the first phase of the project, which is from October to December 2018, will support 10,000 businesses with full directory, product images and short videos. He added that about 500,000 businesses are expected to be on the platform in one year.
He posited that the e-mall, which is part of government’s industrialisation agenda, will project abandoned local and indigenous Ghanaian products to the international market – thereby boosting trade with other African countries and the world as a whole
“As we implement our industrialisation agenda with emphasis on value addition to our abandoned raw materials, the online mall will offer our medium, small microenterprises an opportunity to showcase their products and services to the larger African market. This will further boost trade with other African countries within the context of the continental free trade agreement,” said Mr. Awuah.