The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has started providing technical support to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and companies producing for exports in Ghana.
The support to the private sector by the Trade Capacity Building Programme for Ghana, a project implemented by UNIDO with funds from SECO, will offer technical assistance to private enterprises in the cocoa, fish, fruit and wood value chains to implement relevant quality management systems to facilitate trade – both locally and internationally.
The offer to support SMEs with technical assistance was advertised in the dailies and interested companies have signed on.
The Project team organized a meeting with the successful applicants to establish modalities for implementation.
In his welcome address, the Project Coordinator, Mr. Victor Mills, informed participants that the Project will provide experts tasked with helping the companies design and implement quality management and food safety systems in accordance to the requirements of the international standards.
“We have already trained experts who will assist selected companies and pay them till you get the international standards”, he said.
Mr. Mills noted that the project, aimed at improving the country’s sustainable value chains for exports, has for the past three years upgraded national inspection bodies to a point where they are ready for accreditation to international standards this year.
He revealed that the current focus of the project is on helping the private sector who are the end users of such services.
“Now is the turn to focus on the private sector since we have done so much with the public sector. We are not asking you to pay anything but just be committed to signing on the program and be committed to getting the desired results”, he added.
Companies will be assisted to implement relevant quality management systems and marketing standards in ISO 9001, FSC Control Wood or Chain of Custody Standards, Food Safety Standards such as HACCP, ISO 22000 and IFS. Representatives from about 30 companies were present at the meeting.
This support to the private sector will help selected SMEs and companies to obtain food safety and management system certification funded by the TCB programme.
The support is line with UNIDO’s mission of helping Ghana’s private sector in creating jobs and wealth by providing technical access to resources and support services through certification, inspection, accreditation, and standardization in order to boost private sector competitiveness.
The UNIDO TCB Programme provides support to national quality infrastructure institutions, actors and companies in the export sector in order to improve industrialization of Ghana’s economy and promote export trade.
UNIDO’s primary objective is the promotion and acceleration of industrial development in developing countries and the promotion of international industrial cooperation.
UNIDO has since 2007 been implementing the Trade Capacity Building Programme funded by the Switzerland Government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in cooperation with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI). – BD