Angela Mensah-Poku, Vodafone Ghana Director for Enterprise and Wholesale, talks…
Invest in Africa will feature at the Tech in Ghana Conference London
To improve the quality of an investment in Africa, a company/investor must find a way to improve the quality of its relationships with local companies in the countries in which it invests.
This means creating more economic value, opening up more job opportunities for local people, building strong relationships with local governments and developing solid networks on the ground.
Invest in Africa (IIA) have created initiatives to help bridge this gap between large companies/investors and local African businesses. IIA creates access to markets, skills and finance for SMEs and businesses alike with the vision to create thriving African economies. IIA is focused on job creation and increasing the linkages between large/international companies and local businesses while increasing their access to skills, markets and finance.
IIA works with partner companies including, Tullow Oil, Clyde & Co, Ecobank, EY and Equity Bank, to identify and tackle the challenges of doing business in Africa (specifically in Ghana and Kenya), delivering more impactful and cost-efficient solutions.
In Ghana and Kenya, Invest in Africa is working to strengthen local SMEs with an online cross-sector business directory called the African Partner Pool (APP) to promote local businesses and help investors/multinational companies choose the best businesses to partner with and the best local suppliers to do the job.
Launched in Ghana in 2014, today there are 1,600 local SMEs and 17 larger corporates registered on the APP, including Newmont, GE and Guinness Ghana. This represents 44,000 people working in 22 different sectors connected through the APP. In terms of value, the APP has seen a total of 55 deals won by local SMEs worth a total of $11m, with the potential to support over 1,500 jobs.
IIA has also formed a partnership with the African Development Bank to provide support and development opportunities to SMEs in Ghana in order to help them meet the expectations of their new international business partners. The Business Skills Excellence Accelerator Programmes provide core business skills training to help local SMEs meet the expectations of international businesses, win tenders and access finance. This three year, US$4m programme supports 150 Ghanaian SMEs from all sectors, helping them to deliver goods and services on time, meeting international standards and export to new markets.
There are real life examples of how these initiatives are helping investing and local companies. RPS Engineering Services, for example, is a local company that were successful on winning a scaffolding tender through IIA’s APP platform. They were also able to access key business skills training from IIA’s Business Skills Excellence Accelerator Programmes. This also included an anti-bribery certification from leading providers, TRACE International, who are also partners of IIA.
On the other side, UT Bank, one of Ghana’s premier banks, have also benefitted from joining the APP. They were able to contract many local suppliers to do business with while reducing their costs and risks at the same time.
Hear more about Invest in Africa and their African Partner Pool platform at the Tech in Ghana Conference London. The event is sponsored by Vodafone Business Solutions and WorldRemit, and will be held on Monday 27th February. Read more here