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Kosmos Innovation Center and Mastercard Foundation launch KIC Business Booster acceleration program

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The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation has launched the KIC Business Booster – an acceleration program aimed at scaling Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (Agri-MSMEs) in the agriculture sector in Ghana.

The KIC Business Booster accelerates the growth of Agri-MSMEs by improving their investor readiness and connecting them to potential funding.

Agri-MSMEs that take part in the program are provided with customized capacity-building training and business development support services such as mentorship and coaching, market linkages, and network opportunities.

Kosmos Innovation Center and Mastercard Foundation launch KIC Business Booster acceleration program

The program will enable Agri-MSMEs to improve their business operations, mitigate financial constraints, and appropriately prepare them to engage with potential investors.

Over the next four years, the KIC Business Booster program will scale up 900 Agri-MSMEs in Ghana’s agriculture value chains.

The Accelerator, which forms part of KIC’s partnership with Kosmos Energy and the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works strategy in Ghana, will be implemented in a phased approach. In the first year, the program with Agri-MSMEs will be based in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Northern, and Upper West Regions of Ghana.

Kosmos Innovation Center and Mastercard Foundation launch KIC Business Booster acceleration program

Calls for applications will be open starting now until 27th May 2022. Interested Agri-MSMEs in the listed regions can apply directly on KIC’s website: www.kicghana.org.

To commemorate the launch of the Accelerator program, KIC organized a learning event for young people and operators. The learning event brought together several experts who discussed the challenges faced by Agri-MSMEs and proposed various solutions to solving these challenges.

Speaking at the launch, Benjamin Gyan-Kesse, Executive Director of KIC, said: “The Booster program aligns with KIC’s goal of supporting Agri-MSMEs to scale up, provide food security, and build globally competitive brands backed by innovation and technology. We want to support Agri-MSMEs to grow and impact society in terms of providing food and creating jobs.”

Kosmos Innovation Center and Mastercard Foundation launch KIC Business Booster acceleration program

In addition to the Business Booster program, KIC has led bold initiatives within Ghana’s agriculture sector and supported young entrepreneurs driving innovative business models within the sector. More than 100,000 farmers have been impacted by Agri-Tech and agribusinesses supported by the KIC program.

The Center has now evolved into an independent non-profit organization, which is able to partner with other organizations and foundations to support its work.

Board Chairman of KIC, Senior VP and Head of the Ghana Business Unit at Kosmos Energy, Joe Mensah commented: “The KIC Business Booster program is another pillar of KIC’s work that has a lot of potential to transform the agriculture sector when provided with the necessary support. Offering support to Agri-MSMEs means a lot to the KIC program and just as we have made significant impact with the other program elements, the Business Booster program will also yield high impact.”

Ghana Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, Rosy Fynn, commented: “The launch of the KIC Business Booster program is aligned to our country strategy of investing in the agriculture and agriculture-adjacent sectors to unlock work opportunities for young Ghanaian women and men, and to push for system-level changes, that will position Ghana as a technological hub with agriculture innovations that are suited to the African context.”

Earlier this year, the Mastercard Foundation and KIC announced the launch of a multi-year partnership to train the next generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s agriculture sector. Key aspects of the program include:

  • AgriTech Challenge Classic – a 7-month annual training program aimed at building the entrepreneurial mindset of students and young graduates. Over the next four years, the expanded version of the AgriTech Challenge is expected to train about 4,700 young people across Ghana through relationships with regional academic partners, such as universities and technical schools.
  • AgriTech Challenge Pro – A 5-month acceleration program aimed at equipping existing early-stage teams or AgriTech start-ups with the right tools, funding, and support to bring their business ideas or products to market and prepare them to scale. The program was developed to train teams advancing from the AgriTech Challenge Classic, as well as others from the broader start-up ecosystem in Ghana.
  • Incubation – the KIC Incubation is a multi-year business incubation program aimed at preparing businesses for growth, scale, and investor readiness. The incubation program involves more focused business training, specialized coaching and mentorship, networking, a physical workspace, and access to technical expertise. Six businesses will be selected annually to receive between US$10,000 and $50,000 in funding, physical office space, and continuous support from the KIC. Throughout the
    incubation, the KIC will invest in capacity-building programs to equip entrepreneurs with specialized mentorship using local industry experts.
  • Business Booster – a 5-month program that spurs the growth of existing Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in agriculture and agriculture adjacent sectors in Ghana that have demonstrated potential and are ready to scale. The Business Booster program supports improvements in structure and operations and investor readiness by facilitating business relationships, networking, mentorship, business development support, and coaching. The program’s goal is to accelerate the development of 900 MSMEs over four years.
  • Blue Skies School Farm of The Year Competition – the School Farm of the Year Competition works by enabling secondary schools to compete against each other by managing and sustaining their own farms to win prizes and to be awarded the title of School Farm of the Year. This competition aims to develop the interest of young people in agriculture through practical training and exposure. The program will leverage school farms as models to teach and demonstrate innovations emerging from the KIC, while supporting the training of teachers on how to apply these solutions.



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GPHA congratulates Director-General on his election as IAPH Vice President, African region

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The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has sent a congratulatory message to its Director General, Michael Achagwe Luguje on his election as the Vice-President (Africa Region) of the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).

IAPH is the global alliance of Ports and Harbours, with membership of over 160 Ports and 120 port-related businesses from 87 countries.

GPHA is member of the IAPH, and it is significant that its Director General now holds the position of Vice-President for Africa Region.

Polling 13 votes out of 14, Mr. Luguje, in line with Article 21 of IAPH Constitution, assumes the responsibility until next annual general meeting at the IAPH World Ports Conference in 2023.

From the humble beginnings in Pong-Tamale L.A. Primary School, Tamale and Navrongo Secondary Schools, through the University of Ghana, the World Maritime University and others, Mr. Luguje, has risen through the ranks from the office of the Special Assistant to the then Director General of GPHA to become the West and Central African Regional Coordinator of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nation’s specialised regulatory agency for global shipping and maritime transport.

GPHA congratulates Director-General on his election as IAPH Vice President, African region

He also served as one of the longest Secretary-Generals of the Ports Management Association of West and Central Africa (PMAWCA).

In 2017, Mr. Luguje mobilized member ports from the Africa region towards the successful election of Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, to the office of Vice-President, Africa Region of the IAPH.

Further to the congratulatory note from the Board, Management and Staff of GPHA, the Chiefs, Elders and Good People of the Kasena-Nankana Traditional Areas, and the Savelugu-Nanton District have expressed pride and joy for this noble son of theirs.



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MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth – CWEIC CEO

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The Chief Executive of the CommonWealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Rosie Glazebrook, has noted that Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the development of many economies in the Commonwealth.

This, in her view, underscored the CWEIC strategy to work with partners in key CommonWealth markets to foster MSME growth.

Ms. Glazebrook made these comments when she paid a courtesy call at one of the CWEIC’s key partners in Ghana, UMB (Universal Merchant Bank).

This formed part of Madam Glazier official tour of Ghana, this week. The bank structured the visit to enable Madam Glazebrook get a first-hand view of Ghanaian MSMEs, by hosting the CWEIC delegation at its “Centre for Businesses” within the Madina market enclave.

Chief Executive of UMB, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, in his remarks noted “a number of significant economic reports argue that MSMEs account for over 70% of all economic activity in Ghana. As a Bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972, and thus we share this passion for MSMEs with the CWEIC.”

MSMEs are key to economic growth in the CommonWealth - CWEIC CEO

“Indeed, we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner the University of Coventry programme to build capacity for African SME’s and look forward to rolling out the programme this year, especially to MSMEs with female leadership”, he added.

Ms. Glazebrook in her remarks said, “UMB is Ghana’s oldest Merchant Bank, and I dare say the CommonWealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships. Central to our work at the CWEIC is the COMMONWEALTH ADVANTAGE- the fact that overall its 21% cheaper to do business across the CommonWealth. We are thus very passionate about bring this advantage to bear on businesses and I am excited that one of our key partners is doing this in lock-step with us here in Ghana.”

Ms Glazebrook and her party were escorted around the market by Nana Dwemoh Benneh and other officials of the bank. This was followed by a presentation by the Head of Strategy on UMB’s MSME programme and the intergation with CWEIC, Roland Akafia.

UMB is a leading indigenous bank reputed for bringing a uniquely Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972. Headquartered in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates out of 35 branches across Ghana.

The CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations. The role of CWEIC is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by Her Majesty The Queen, to drive trade and investment.



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GRA and Finance Ministry engage Information Services Department on E-Levy implementation

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More than 200 staff of the Information Services Department across the country are undergoing a special training in Kumasi to help intensify public education on the implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

This is part of measures by the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Finance to address misconceptions about the E-levy and its implementation.

Deputy Information Minister, Fatimatu Abubakar, is positive the ISD will use the various local languages to properly disseminate the right information and clear the misconception about the e-levy.

The passage and implementation of the electronic transfer levy have come with diverse concerns and misinformation.

This has compelled authorities to engage officers of the Information Services Department across the country to help with the education.

Deputy Finance Minister, Abena Osei Asare, says it is crucial for the ISD to employ the various local languages to better address the misinformation on E-levy.

There have been concerns about logistical constraints often associated with the work of the Information Services Department.

Fatimatu Abubakar insists the Department is well equipped enough to carry out the education.

The initiative is expected to empower the Information Service Department on the e-levy mechanics.



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