Business entities engaged in productive sectors in the Ghanaian economy are qualified for partnerships with investors in the Diaspora, under the Bridge Investment Development (BID) program. The BID program, an initiative of the Inter-regional Bridge Group (IBG), is aimed at supporting growth and development within the country, and actively engaging the African Diaspora in the development of the country.
It promotes entrepreneurship and innovation among Ghanaians by utilizing Diaspora Coalitions, strategic networks and resources to bring about transformational development within various sectors of the nation's economy. It facilitates the use of fixed capital, information and technical expertise through its pool of members to partner potentially merited Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs).
A statement from the group copied to the GNA on Tuesday, said the World Bank's recently launched initiative on Mobilizing the African Diaspora for Development in support of the African Union (AU), stressed the need for "the Diaspora to build on ongoing efforts via a blended strategy of 'mutual' participation, short, medium and long term placements, return and retention, and institutional partnerships and networks."
The call by the World Bank supports the BID program, which seeks to utilise existing multilateral relationships between the Diaspora and African countries to jumpstart active participation in Ghana's development. Ghana has been selected as a Region of Focus (ROF) for this program, based on available conditions in the country which are paramount in successful project implementation. The conditions include economic stability, strong potential growth in exports and capital investment, ability to sustain business network, and strategic coalitions.
The statement said a research conducted by the Inter-regional Bridge Group into market opportunities across various sectors of the economy put Ghana ahead as a safe investment zone with tremendous opportunities for growth in projects, contracts, and procurement. The BID program also covers individuals with expertise in viable sectors of the economy through collaboration and knowledge sharing with other investors to grow their businesses.
IBG exploits innovative and gainful projects, combining research findings and member assessment to initiate projects via the collaborative efforts of Private Sector Development (OPSD) under umbrella banking institutions. Recent research published by the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI) in the Banana Skins report, suggested vibrancy in the micro-finance sector with strong fundamentals, and a solid and growing client base in spite of inherent risks in rising non-performing loans, as part of the conditions.
"Remaining focused on longer term issues of strong management, governance and asset liability management capacity remains crucial for the future," said Elizabeth Littlefield, Chief Executive Officer of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), sponsors of the research. To meet this future requirement, custom financing solutions that range from basic collateral to sophisticated capital incubator financing, would be made available for local businesses as part of the BID program.
Drawing from its expertise in contract management services, facilitation of procurement initiatives, business relationship management, and project implementation services, IBG seeks to create strategic partnerships with Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) within the productive sectors and Diaspora investors. The combination of these comprehensive management services would play a significant role in meeting the various needs under the program. This is expected to solve the problems of inadequate funding for projects, information gaps, reduced high cost and risk associated with doing business, as well as meet the growing demand for project implementation capacities, the statement said.
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