Accra–Ghana, 28 January, 2019: Invest in Africa (IIA) has honoured nine (9) SMEs at the 2nd edition of its SME Excellence Awards held in Accra.
The SME Excellence Awards is a platform that showcases and celebrates the achievements of successful businesses and individuals of entrepreneurial excellence who have experienced IIA’s three benefit platforms; ‘access to skills’, ‘access to markets’, and ‘access to finance’.
The Nine (9) SMEs were recognised for performing excellently in various aspects of their respective businesses. They are; WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Georgette Barnes Limited, YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Agriaccess Ghana Limited, BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, BUSINESS LINKAGE AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited, BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY GROWTH AWARD - Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, BUSINESS INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Liranz Limited, MENTORSHIP RECOGNITION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, SCALE-UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited.
The ultimate award, IIA STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE went to AIDEC Holdings Limited, a downstream fuel retailing and petroleum haulage company.
The Accounts and Finance Manager of AIDEC Holdings Limited Mr. Hector Awaana who received the award, expressed his gratitude to IIA and its partners, on behalf of the award winners, for the support being offered to SMEs in the Country. “The training in entrepreneurship we received from IIA has enhanced our operations and we are grateful”, he added.
The event was organized under the theme “Supporting SMEs – Key to Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Prosperity.
The Country Director of IIA, Mr. Clarence Nartey underscored the need for SMEs to be supported to grow. He said SMEs employ between 60-90% of Africa’s population thus supporting them will enable SMEs contribute more to prospering African Economies. “IIA has in the past four years provided $150million worth of contracts to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the African Partner Pool (APP), $1.2 million worth of credit support to SMEs, trained 230 SME’s and supported 32,000 jobs” He noted.
He disclosed that going forward, IIA has prioritised 6 strategic sectors for support as part of its long -term broad-based growth strategy. These are; Financial Services, Agriculture, Construction, Extractives (Oil & Gas & Mining) and ICT. “IIA is investing millions of dollars to build the long -term capacity of local suppliers across these sectors in order to drive sustained growth and job creation” Mr. Nartey stated.” He reiterated IIA’s vision 2022 agenda to provide $500million worth of contracts to SMEs and 100,000 jobs for Ghanaians.
He commended the government for recognising the important role of SMEs and taking appropriate steps to create the enabling environment for their growth. “It is great to see that our Government through its 10-point Industrial Transformation Agenda has rightly identified SME development and Industrial subcontracting exchange as two key growth pillars”, he said. Mr. Nartey further commended the Ministry of Trade & Industry for formulating the Draft National MSME Policy, which is a necessary first step towards creating a true entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana.
The Special Guest Speaker, Mr. Kweku Awotwi in his speech emphasized the critical role of SMEs in national development. He said in this regard, Tullow Ghana Limited has committed itself to using the services of local suppliers. “Local content has significant input and influence in our procurement processes. We currently have 75% of contracts in our procurement plan earmarked for indigenous companies and joint ventures between indigenous companies and foreign companies who can transfer knowledge, skills, experience and technology to the indigenous partners” he stated.
He further noted that; “since 2010, Tullow Ghana Limited has invested $15billion on rigs, well development among others and $9.5billion out of the amount was awarded to companies that have joint venture partners in the country.
Dr. Sebastian Okeke, Country Programme Manager for the African Development Bank (AfDB) reiterated the commitment of his organization to continue to support SMEs through its Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme. “AfDB has created various instruments to ensure that Africa’s private sector is well equipped to rise above its current challenges” he stated.
The event was attended by other IIA’s partners - EY, AB & David Africa, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV, Ecobank Ghana, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).