Anne Sophie Avé, Ambassador of France to Ghana, said her country has allocated € 75 million of investment in Ghana to support micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The amount is part of an investment of 3.5 billion euros for African countries as part of the “Choose Africa” initiative, aimed at offering a range of aid and financing adapted to creation and development. and the growth of MSMEs.
For Ghana, the initiative will support the structuring of projects aimed at contributing to sustainable development in the fields of education, health, manufacturing, agribusiness and financial technologies.
The ambassador said the support would exclude the extractive sector, including mining, oil and gas, in line with her country’s green energy policy.
” I asked them [investors from France] to look at companies that have the potential to cross borders…, investing in the future like education, vocational training and 75 billion euros have been earmarked in Ghana so far, but if there is a plan clear and well-defined business, more money can be invested in it, ”she said.
She said this when she interacted with the media on the sidelines of an event to connect MSMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs with Proparco, a French development finance institution.
The event was hosted by the French Embassy, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and Innohub, a business incubator that helps growing small businesses become sustainable.
On the reasons why France was investing in Ghana, she explained that “Ghana is safe, a peaceful and democratic country, with a lot of entrepreneurs, dynamic young people, a lot of good ideas, a lot of solidarity through loans from the family and friends to start them. .
“There are MSMEs that already exist, who are experimenting, there are products to be tested on the market with many investment opportunities. It is a basic logic, France invests where the investment is really safe and profitable.
She noted that Ghana has economic prospects due to its many MSMEs coupled with good skills and competences, and that France “wants to ensure that Ghanaian businesses are able to go the extra mile to create jobs. , wealth, add value ”.
Regarding returns on investment, she said that “if you invest or give a loan as well as technical assistance it will make money for you, so you will be eager to help that person or company that brings the wonderful idea to take it to another level or go the extra mile and become a more national and international brand ”, and this is what worries French investors.
To that end, she said, each investment fund would review expertise and specialties and do their due diligence, as they [the investors and MSMEs] would work together for five to seven years.
Mr. Yofi Grant, Chairman and CEO of GIPC, said, “The government is very keen on developing the MSME sector and clearly understands that it is the largest industry in the economy. Therefore, we must pay attention to the sector if we seek to improve and grow.
“At GIPC, we do a lot to support MSMEs through programs such as our Young Entrepreneurs Forum, business continuity and our various trade missions,” he added.