The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has taken over the implementation of various green modules under GreenToCompete hub, beginning with a pilot of voluntary and sustainability standards module for selected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Over the past three years, the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) GreenToCompete hub was hosted by GEPA providing technical assistance to local SMEs through capacity building focusing on aspects of sustainability in resource efficiency, voluntary and sustainability standards (VSS), e-commerce and access to finance.
With the implementation of various modules under the initiative completed, GEPA has taken over the project to manage it for the benefit of SMEs under similar orientations.
Addressing participants at the transition workshop, the Deputy CEO of GEPA, Mr Samuel Dentu, said the GreenToCompete project over the past three years had benefitted over 50 exporting and export-ready SMEs in the cocoa, Shea processing, fruit/vegetables, and arts and crafts sectors.
He said the takeover was necessary as the country’s economy remained highly dominated by the activities of local SMEs and there was the need to enhance their capacity to access the international markets.
“GEPA is pleased when ITC contracted the authority to work on this project because SMEs contribute significantly to the national economy whilst striving to compete not only in Ghana but also on the international market,” he said.
The transition workshop was to officially close and switch the GreenToCompete Hub activities from the direct implementation of ITC into the hands of GEPA.
It was also to create awareness about voluntary and sustainability standards and invite SMEs to have an exclusive opportunity to be part of the program.
“These SMEs received training under the Hub, including personalised coaching to enable them to chart an easy path to more sustainable trade by better understanding the sustainability landscape, and to connect with green finance international markets,” he said.
Mr Dentu said the receipt of comprehensive support on incorporating the GreenToCompete hub into GEPA’s portfolio of services had made the Authority ready to take over the Hub’s activities and deliver various green modules to the benefit of Ghanaian SMEs.
“This we intend to do, beginning with a pilot of the voluntary and sustainability standards module for selected SMEs to be part of the piloting,” he added.
Desk Manager of GreenToCompete Hub Ghana at the ITC, Regina Taimasova, said the initiative’s completion by the ITC has offered a renewed opportunity for GEPA to effectively take up the project and implement it to benefit local SMEs.
She said the project has in the last three years benefitted over 200 individuals in a key non-traditional export sector. “The ITC wishes to commend GEPA for lending support toward a successful implementation of the project in Ghana,” said Ms Taimasova.
The GreenToCompete Hubs are a core element in International Trade Centre’s goal to realise one million activations in the next five years.
Currently, the hubs active in the Carribean, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Peru and Vietnam.