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Business News of Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Source: B&FT

EximBank will draw entrepreneurs to agric – GCCI President

President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, has indicated that the recently launched Exim Bank will court entrepreneurs to the dominant agricultural sector and ultimately push down the rate of unemployment in the country.

The bank, at its maiden Graduate Enterprise Development Initiative Awards (GEDI) in Accra, distributed a total of GH¢2 million to 20 graduate entrepreneurs to bolster their start-up businesses as a means of driving entrepreneurship development in the country.

GEDI is designed to support graduate start-ups in agri-business as the country seeks to narrow the trade imbalance and to create employment for thousands of unemployed graduates by adding value to agro-products.

In an interview with the B&FT on the sidelines of a press conference organised by the chamber to underscore the need for peaceful elections, the GCCI boss said the gesture formed part of efforts to drive entrepreneurship, especially in the agro sector.

He said: “By giving financial support to these student entrepreneurs, we have invested in people who are coming to create jobs for themselves and employ other people.

These are some of the things that Exim Bank will be doing that the commercial banks cannot do.”

The recently launched Ghana Exim Bank, aside sustaining exports, is also expected to serve as the financial backbone for small and medium-scale enterprises, support rural industrialisation and other viable ventures that lack assistance from the commercial banks.

According to the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, graduate unemployment will hit 271,000 this year as the country churns out over 70,000 graduates annually.

Nana Dankawoso I added the chamber will continue to conscientise its members and the private sector as a whole on the need to add value to its agro exports so as to balance trade.

He indicated: “We export mostly in the raw state so we will continue to empower and build capacity of members and the broader private sector to add value to exports to rake in more revenue.

“We also encourage our members to produce more for the local market so we can cut down on imports to balance our trade.

“By so doing, we can generate forex to support the economy.”