The Chief Director at the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr. Patrick Nimo, has disclosed that agro-based industrialisation was a high priority on the government’s job creation project. This, he said, was reflected in key policies, including, but not limited to, the National Export Development Strategy and the National Policy Framework and Action Plan for Micro Investments.
He made this known yesterday, when the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in collaboration with the European Union and Ministry of Trade and Industry, organised the first Cluster International Conference in Ghana to strengthen cluster inclusiveness for small businesses in Accra.
The Cluster International Conference was under the theme: “Contribute to Knowledge Sharing in the Sub-Region; Present Ghanaian clusters experience …to further motivate and inspire businesses in Ghana.”
According to the Chief Director, there was the need for competition, because it was a competitive world, adding that the domestic market was as good as the international market. “So it means that we need to lift standards; we need to look at our price points and make sure that we can trade and produce.
“We also need to conform to standards, because the market has become very sophisticated and there are demanding products, production, environmental and labour standards,” he added.
The Chief Director of MoTI also acknowledged that Ghana was catching up, but there was the need to move up quickly, and also connect digitally to the world and among ourselves.
In the opening address, Charles Kwame Sackey, Chief Technical Advisor of WACOMP, stated that the maiden Cluster Conference presented many benefits, such as contributing to knowledge sharing in the region, by allowing Ghanaian clusters to exchange and learn from each other, and support networking and collaboration.
Also, “to exchange with national authorities on [the] ways to further upscale the approach, and start brainstorming on possible ways to institutionalise the cluster approach at the Ghanaian level,” he added.
He further reiterated that the conference was aims at creating awareness, emphasising important areas of common interest and collaborative action that the Ministry of Trade and Industry and all partners could take advantage of, to sustain our emerging clusters and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“Business clusters are core actors of change in the country’s industrial strategy, and strengthening their resilience and their capacity to cooperate and trust each other should be the target of policy makers.
“This first Ghanaian Cluster Conference will contribute to ensuring knowledge sharing in the region and will allow Ghanaian clusters to learn from each other and capitalise on networking and collaboration,” Mr. Sackey said.
Mr. Fakhruddin Azizi, UNIDO Representative in Ghana and Liberia, in his address, noted the strong cooperation between UNIDO and the Government of Ghana and the joint commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially in relation with areas such as energy and environment, investment, and quality standards.
He emphasised the successful achievements of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), which could become a reference in the region, in terms of enhanced value addition, low carbon, sustainable production and processing and increased access to regional and global markets.