The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO ), European Union and Ministry of Trade and Industries (MoTI) has organized the first cluster International Conference in Ghana to strengthen cluster inclusiveness for small businesses in Accra .
The conference was hosted by the EU-funded West African Competitiveness Program (WACOMP) implemented by UNIDO and MoTI in collaboration with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
The main objective was to present and promote Ghanaian clusters results and strengthen connections between Ghanaian SMEs as a sustainable way to enhance the country competitiveness and integration in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
UNIDO Representative in Ghana and Liberia Fakhruddin Azizi, in his address, noted the strong cooperation between UNIDO and the Government of Ghana and the joint commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in relation with areas such as energy and environment, investment, and quality standards.
He emphasised the successful achievements of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), which can become a reference in the region, in terms of enhanced value addition, low carbon, sustainable production and processing and increased access to regional and global markets.
On his part, Team Leader – Macro-Economic and Trade Section of the European Delegation to Ghana Timothy Dolan indicated: “Supporting SMEs and promoting cluster approach and cooperation is indeed a strategic approach to ensure Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development, that no one is left behind and that women can fully take advantage of the opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.”
Chief Technical Advisor of WACOMP-Ghana Charles Kwame Sackey highlighted: “Business clusters are core actors of change in the country’s industrial strategy and strengthening their resilience and their capacity to cooperate and trust each other should be the target of policy makers. This first Ghanaian Cluster conference will contribute to ensuring knowledge sharing in the region and will allow Ghanaian clusters to learn from each other and capitalizing on networking and collaboration.”
Over 120 SMEs attended the conference which also showcased products from Ghanaian entrepreneurs exporting their products benefiting from the WACOMP-Ghana project.