Anne-Sophie Avé, Ambassador of France to Ghana, has disclosed that her country has allocated €75 million to Ghana as investment to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The Ambassador made this known when she interacted with the media, on the back of plans to connect MSMES, start-ups, and entrepreneurs with Prop Arco, a French Development Finance Institution. She indicated that the amount forms part of a €3.5 billion investment for African countries under the “Choose Africa Initiative,” aimed at offering a range of assistance and financing tailored to the creation, development and growth of MSMEs.
According to the Ambassador, in Ghana, the initiative will help to support the structuring of projects to contribute to sustainable development in the area of education, health, manufacturing, agribusiness, and financial technology. Nonetheless, she indicated that the support would exclude the extractive sector, which included: mining and oil & gas, in line with her country’s green energy policy.
“I’ve asked them [investors from France] to look at companies that have the potential to go borders…, to invest in the areas like education, vocational training, etc. €75 billion has been earmarked to Ghana so far. But, if there is a well-pitched clear business plan, more money can be invested into it”.Anne-Sophie Avé
On why France is investing in Ghana, Anne-Sophie Avé explained that, “Ghana is a safe, peaceful and democratic country, with lots of entrepreneurs. The country can boast of young and dynamic people with a lot of good ideas.”
“There are MSMEs that are already existing in the market and doing well and with many opportunities for investment. It’s a basic logic, France invests where the investment is really safe and profitable.”Anne-Sophie Avé
Why France Chooses Ghana
Anne-Sophie Avé opined that Ghana is endowed with economic prospects due to its many MSMEs, coupled with good skills and competencies. She stated that France “wants to ensure that Ghanaian companies are able to go the extra mile to create jobs, wealth, add value.”
Regarding returns on investment, the Ambassador stated that, if an investor invests or gives a loan and also technical assistance, it will yield a return, so the investor will be eager to invest more. “By so doing, it will help the person or company who brings the wonderful idea to bring it to another level, and that was what investors from France would be concerned about.”
To that end, she noted that each investment fund would look at expertise and specialties and do due diligence before giving out the funds, because they [the investors and MSMEs] would be working together for five to seven years.
Mr Yofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), stated that the government is very keen to develop the MSME sector, “and clearly, it’s the largest business sector of the economy, therefore, attention needs to be paid to the sector if we seek to improve and grow.”
“At GIPC, we are doing a lot to support MSMEs through programmes such as: our Young Entrepreneurs Forum, Business Continuity and our various trade missions.”Mr Yofi Grant
The event was organised by the French Embassy, Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) and Innohub, a business incubator that helps small and growing businesses to become sustainable.