By Alfred K. Dogbey
In the efforts to reduce poverty in the country, the Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with a US-based organization, PYXERA Global, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide assistance to SMEs in Ghana, particularly those in the Western Region, to enable them participates in the oil and gas subsector.
The agreement, which was signed in Accra on Wednesday, January 22, is expected to last for 5years. The undertaking was supervised by the sector, Minister, Haruna Idrisu, officials of PYXERA Global and the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Gene Cretz, in the presence of the media.
A funding of $ 5 million, is being made available to cover SMEs activities within the oil and gas subsector, with the possibility of extending both the scope of activities and amount involved.
The Ghana Supply Chain Development Programme, will enable collaboration towards increasing the participation of local small and medium sized enterprises in the supply chains of international oil companies operating in Ghana.
According to the Minister, “this support is in line with the government’s objectivity to create the necessary environment that would improve productivity, entrepreneur capacity, innovation and access to finance”.
The Ministry explained that it “aim is to increase the supply and improve the quality of entrepreneurial and management skills of SMEs” with the implementation of Industrial sector support programme across the country.
In his remark, the US Ambassador said, the signing of the MoU “is a visible demonstration of my government’s commitment to ensuring that Ghanaian businesses have the expertise and support needed to bid for and, most importantly win procumbent in the oil and gas sector in Ghana”.
Mr. Gene Cretz said, despite the his government’s occasional disagreement with the Ghana government, “we have always agreed that increasing local content in the petroleum sector and throughout the economy is critical to Ghana’s long-term economic success”.
Ambassador Cretz asserted that “there can be no clearer example of our strongly-held view that local content is a worthy goal and can be mutually beneficial when there is a cooperative process of consultation and shared understanding”.
Giving further details to the agreement, Public Affairs department of the US Embassy in Accra in a statement explained that earlier in 2013, USAID awarded a 5-year $ 4.9 million grant to PYXERA Global to implement the programme in the Western Region of Ghana.
It said, the programme which is based in Takoradi, seeks to increase sustainable participation of Ghanaian small businesses in oil and gas procurements.
“The program strives to increase capacity of local business service providers relating to sector procurement regulations and standards; create market linkages between the oil and gas sector; and collaborate closely with the Enterprise Development Center to facilitate the sustainable provision of business development services”, the release explained.