A fifteen-member delegation made up of black American investors are on a six-day visit to the country to explore ways of assisting Ghanaian Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to expand their business operations into the United State of America (USA).
The delegation, which is under the auspices of the City of Chesapeake’s Economic Development Department (EDD), an initiative of the Virginia State in the USA, is also hoping to create avenues that will enable some SMEs to tap relevant entrepreneurial skills needed for the growth of their businesses.
The Diaspora African Forum (DAF) Mission, with headquarters in Accra, Ghana, is hosting the group with support from other corporate organisations in the country.
Mr Eric Sheppard, who is the leader of the delegation, told the Daily Graphic that the Chesapeake Virginia (EDD) was an initiative by the state aimed at attracting businesses into the USA, particularly the Chesapeake in Virginia.
“We have very lucrative and incentive investment programmes for Ghanaian businesses that set up in Chesapeake, Virginia. The department assists them with cash to set up, provides them free office space for a period of six months and also guides them on investment modalities,” he said.
The department, he said, was also aiming at developing long lasting business relationships with Ghanaian entrepreneurs- an initiative he said was expected to lead to the expansion of their individual businesses both within Ghana and into the USA.
“We want to develop SMEs in Ghana to become bigger businesses, to expand their operations and transform the way they operate and that starts with relationships,” he said.
Although the department looks broadly at investment in the state, Mr Sheppard said the current delegation was particularly interested in energy and biodiversity conservation (turning waste into power), entertainment, information communication technology, tax consultancy services, arts and culture, among others.
The Founder and Head of the DAF Mission, Her Excellence Dr Erieka Bennett, said Ghana currently held tremendous opportunities for growth, a situation she said was endearing her outfit to mobilise diaspora investors to come back and invest in the country.
“We have realised tremendous opportunity for growth in Ghana’s economy and we want to be part of that growth. We want to bridge the gap between blacks in the diaspora and the African continent. We want to mend the relationship that has been broken for over 400 years and we are doing that through business linkages,” she said.
The delegation had a tete-a-tete with Ghanaian businesses and will also be holding business discussions with some businesses to facilitate investment back in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Source: Daily Graphic
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