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Business News of Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Source: B&FT

SMEs trained to take advantage in oil and gas sector

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The Ghana Supply Chain Development Programme, funded by the USAID, has partnered the Atuabo Free Port to expose over 100 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with supplier opportunities in the construction of Atuabo Port.

The port, which is located at Atuabo in the Ellembelle district of the Western Region is intended to become an Oil and Gas terminal for the West Africa region.

This was made known at a partnership engagement networking workshop in Takoradi on the theme ‘Engagement for Partnership -- to provide local SMEs with opportunities that can be tapped in construction of the US$700million port project.

The event is in line with the Ghana Supply Chain Development programme’s objective of facilitating business and market linkages with key industry players in the petroleum, mining and other energy-related sectors for SMEs who are trained by the programme on various technical areas.

Mr. Isaac Ampomah, the Financial Controller of the Atuabo Free Port, revealed that the Atuabo Freeport construction -- which is expected to begin by the end of 2015 and be completed by 2017 -- will provide over 1,000 jobs.

He said the majority of these are expected to be allocated to Ghanaians, in line with the Local Content Law.

“In ensuring that the Local Content agenda is well-supported, the Ghana Supply Chain Development programme managed by Pyxera Global has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TRACE International, a leading anti-bribery and corruption business association, to ensure SMEs in the oil and gas industry are certified in doing authentic business as well as become more attractive to multinational companies in the petroleum, mining and energy sectors sector,” he added.

On its mandate to ensure more contracts are won by local SMEs in the oil and gas and other related sectors, Mrs. Marjorie Janczak -- the Training Manager at the Supply Chain Development programme -- added that the programme will continue to focus on building capacity of local operators and linking them to the oil and gas industry.

“The five-year Ghana Supply Chain Development programme, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has for the last two-years held capacity-building workshops and offered market linkages for SMEs in the petroleum, mining and energy sectors,” she said.

She said, to date, 32 training workshops have so far been organized -- with over 168 SMEs and business service providers served.

Also, she said 92 industry-specific certificates have been issued, while 80 companies have already been linked to International Oil Companies with 39 contracts amounting to US$13million won -- all in the effort to promote local content in the industry.