In a move to empower small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has donated essential machinery and manufacturing tools to 15 of its member firms.

Acknowledging the enormous potential offered by the AfCFTA, the GNCCI launched a nationwide specialised training programme for SMEs in Ghana in 2023. This programme covered crucial topics such as AfCFTA rules of origin, export and import procedures, Incoterms, export financing, and trade negotiation. The training equipped participants with the requisite skills and knowledge to take full advantage of the benefits provided by AfCFTA.

The training sessions were held in multiple locations, including Accra, Tema, Wa, Kumasi, Takoradi, Tarkwa, Cape Coast, and Koforidua. Each session spanned two days, resulting in a total of 1500 participants. From this pool, 50 SMEs were selected to receive free equipment from GIZ. An independent consultant was appointed to evaluate and address qualification gaps and ensure these SMEs could effectively leverage opportunities within the AfCFTA framework. This approach guarantees that the beneficiary businesses are not only equipped with tools but also possess the necessary knowledge and skills to use them effectively.

On June 4, 2024, GNCCI organised a brief presentation ceremony where machinery and manufacturing tools were donated to the selected 15-member firms. This initiative aims to significantly enhance productivity, providing equipment such as Heavy-duty Sewing Machines, Dehydrators, Manual Filling Machines, Grinding and Electric Motors, Stainless Steel Tables, Dehullers, Slicing Machines, Industrial Mixers, Skiving and Trimming Machines, Automatic Pouch Sealing Machines, Grinding and Hammer Mills, Juicers, and more.

During the ceremony, Dr. Clement Osie-Amoako, President of GNCCI, highlighted the transformative potential of this initiative. He emphasised that access to these machines will allow the SMEs to scale up their production, maintain consistent product quality, and meet larger order demands—critical factors for capitalising on trade opportunities under AfCFTA. “The market’s competitive nature underscores the need for companies to identify their strengths to thrive in AfCFTA,” he noted.

Ms. Sophia Kamarudeen, Lead of the GIZ Programme Support to AfCFTA, Ghana Component, underscored the longstanding collaboration between GIZ and GNCCI, reaffirming GIZ’s commitment to assisting Ghanaian SMEs in expanding their markets and strengthening regional value chains across Africa. She emphasised the importance of tangible success stories from SMEs under AfCFTA and reiterated GIZ’s ongoing support for long-term growth.

A beneficiary, Ms. Felicia Mensah of Spring-Forth Foods, expressed enthusiasm about her new machine for processing yams into frozen chips and slices. She indicated plans to expand into the Kenyan and other African markets. Madam Mariam Cudjoe Miller of Miller and Marian Limited also shared her excitement, adding that the new machine will help her company speed up packaging and production capacity. “This will enable us to cater to a larger market segment in Africa. Thank you very much,” she said.

Other beneficiaries are Gabicraft Ventures, Fegoe Remy Enterprise, Eazzy Cuisine, Agape Moringa Processing Enterprise, Danikom Trading, Rosswood Limited, Saliscom Limited, Ifok Handmade Limited, Joeash Leather Works, Lili-Pat Yeenu Ventures, Raphal Delight, Bio-Tropical Products Company Limited, and Ohu Farms Limited.

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