Invest in Africa (IIA), an organisation focused on tackling shared private sector challenges, has launched the African Partner Pool (APP), Ghana’s first cross-sector online business directory for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).
This cross-sector directory under the URL, http://www.africanpartnerpool.com, was created to simplify the local sourcing process by connecting independently validated Ghanaian SMEs with international and domestic companies. The directory aims to increase the visibility and credibility of Ghanaian SMEs and support international and domestic companies who want maximise their local supply chains quicker and more cost effectively thorough its search functionality.
The APP was developed in response to a “David and Goliath: Creating a level playing field for Ghanaian SMEs” survey, which the IIA commissioned in early 2014. The purpose of the survey was to understand the obstacles faced by local and international companies and subsequently devise solutions to create and support local market growth.
According to the research, international companies seeking local partners faced difficulty identifying quality local SMEs from which to procure goods and services. Whereas, according to the survey, nearly eight in ten SME managers reported facing obstacles when trying to win contracts from international companies, due to a lack of access to information about the international companies’ procurement activities.
“The African Partner Pool is the core of IIA’s work in Ghana. This directory will assist local suppliers promote their businesses and increase their chances of winning contracts. It will also help them access training and support from Invest in Africa’s Partners and the African Development Bank to build capacity and grow their businesses,” said Sam Brandful, Invest In Africa’s Ghana Country Manager.
200 Ghanaian businesses ranging from light industry, manufacturing, procurement and logistics are currently registered to operate on the platform while 240 others are in the process of completing the registration formalities.
About 92 per cent of companies registered with Ghana’s Registrar-General’s Department are SMEs. They are estimated to provide about 85 per cent of manufacturing employment, contributing to about 70 per cent to Ghana’s GDP, and therefore have catalytic impacts on economic growth, income and employment.
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