With support from German Cooperation, 20 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the Ghanaian textile and fashion sector participated in a 2-week workshop from 21 February to 4 March.
This workshop marked the end of the first phase of a larger programme, called “Ghana-German SME Exchange and Training Programme”, implemented and managed by COGNOS International.
A statement issued by the German Cooperation notes that the programme is supported by Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, among others.
On the last day of the 2-week workshop, the 20 fashion and textile companies showcased their various products in a “market place” exhibition.
This event concluded the third round of the programme’s SME workshops in Ghana: The previous workshops targeted SMEs from the agribusiness and cosmetics sectors (first round) and companies in wood processing and furniture production (second round).
The workshops provided capacity building trainings on various topics, such as leadership, international business, design thinking, sales, marketing and financial planning.
The objective of the “Ghana-German SME Exchange and Training Programme” is to strengthen the capacities of 60 SMEs through training and exchanges with German businesses. Thereby, the programme improves the Ghanaian companies’ readiness to compete in regional and international markets.
The next phase of the programme are 2-week business trips to Germany with all the companies that participated in the three workshop rounds in Ghana. In Germany, they can create strong partnerships with German counterparts and meet potential business partners in the process, creating win-win situations for both sides.
They will also attend further management trainings, allowing them to deepen the skills they have developed in the previous workshops in Ghana. There will be a final follow-up phase in Ghana.
In Ghana, most employment opportunities are largely hinged on the private sector. SMEs fall largely within the private sector and are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. They represent about 85% of businesses and contribute about 70% of Ghana’s gross domestic product (ITC, 2018). It is therefore imperative that they are supported to grow and to expand their frontiers by joining the international markets.
“The fashion and textile industry in Ghana is known to be one of the most strategic sectors in terms of export potential and job creation. It is on the back of this that Invest for Jobs is supporting this programme. Invest for Jobs has the objective of developing the employment generation ability of Ghanaian businesses through demand-driven programmes”, said Mr. John Duti, Team Leader of Invest for Jobs at GIZ-Ghana.
He added that by the end of this training and exchange programme, it is expected that at least 300 new decent jobs would be created.
Head of Operations of COGNOS International gGmbH, Mr. Timo Tekhaus said, “It was an inspiring experience to work with so many talented and motivated young entrepreneurs from the fashion and textile sector in Ghana. We are extremely happy with the results of this twoweeks workshop in Accra and look forward to the programme in Germany by end of May.
It will be exciting to see the young Ghanaian entrepreneurs connecting and exchanging with representatives of the German fashion industry in Hamburg and Berlin”.