Wood processing firms set to benefit in 2nd round of Ghana-Germany exchange program

Ghanaian wood factories set to gain from second-round Germany exchange program [Image: courtesy]
Ghana—Twenty Ghanaian wood processing companies Monday started a training workshop under the ‘Ghana-Germany’ SME Training and Exchange program’ to build their capacities to be competitive on the local and international markets.

The program which falls under, “The Invest for jobs”, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, was officially launched in Accra to mark the beginning of the second round of the initiative.

It is a two-year agenda being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Cognos International, a non-profit organization, to implement educational projects as part of its social, not-for-profit mission in Africa and Asia.

According to statistical data, the wood industry in Ghana contributes significantly to the economy in terms of foreign exchange earnings, increased employment, and opportunities for local development.

The industry is said to be dominated mainly by Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) that account for about six percent of GDP and also as the fourth most important foreign exchange earner accounting for 11% of GDP after Minerals (36%), Cocoa (35%), and Tourism (12%).

It is also providing direct employment for more than 100,000 people in logging and processing mills as well as in public institutions, while it contributes about 4% of the national tax revenue in Ghana.

Mr. Timo Tekhaus, the team lead of Cognos International, explained that a first round of the 20 SMEs from the agri-processing, cosmetics, and nut processing sector had already participated in the program in April 2021.

He said the current batch of wood processing furniture production, and furniture accessories SMEs would undergo a two-week training after, which one representative of each of the 20 SMEs would be sent to Germany for two-week practical business exposure and networking exploration exercise for another two weeks.

The two-week management training, dubbed: “Business-to-Business (B2B)” meetings will be held with German companies to learn at first hand, experience on production, quality management and supply chain management from German companies.

At the end of the entire program in 2022, the capacities of a total of 60 growth-oriented SMEs will be strengthened and their competitiveness in international markets increased