Dr. Alessandro Gerbino
THE ITALIAN Trade Agency, an Italian government agency that supports business development, partnerships and collaborations between Italian companies and their local counterparts, has launched the first E-Lab Innova educational training programme in Ghana.
This is to, among other things, help improve the technical and managerial skills of Ghanaian agribusiness companies and support their access to European Union markets.
The programme, launched in partnership with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and other Italian partners including AICS and Macfrut, also aims at fostering business partnerships with Italian companies and improving the Ghanaian value chain and local industry development and employment.
Opening the training programme held via Google hangout, Dr. Alessandro Gerbino, Head of ITA for Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, said the E-Lab Innova training programme “is the first of a longer term engagement programme that will also involve trade visits from Italian companies, meetings, exhibitions and other activities to boost trade cooperation between Italy and Ghana.”
Dr. Gerbino, whilst expressing his gratitude to the GEPA and AGI, added that “E-Lab Innova presents an opportunity for Ghanaian companies involved to benefit from the technical knowhow of their Italian counterparts and for Italian agribusiness companies to get to understand agribusiness in Ghana and to find ways to collaborate.”
The Head of the Agribusiness Department of the AGI, Fatima Ali Mohamed, who represented the CEO of the association, commended ITA for rolling out the E-Lab Innova training programme to help Ghanaian agribusiness companies.
According to her Ghanaian agribusiness companies are “still growers and exporters of raw materials, while we should be adding value to our produce at this stage in our development.”
She further added that “the potential to improve growth is there and this can be developed through such training exercises as this one being organized by ITA.”
Other objectives of the training include promoting technology transfer and innovation on the model of Italian agribusiness districts and foster opportunities for technical industrial partnerships with Italian companies.
The project is part of a greater effort put in place by Italy in Ghana to boost economic ties with Ghana, particularly in the agrobusiness area. In this regard, Italy’s CDP joined a syndicate of international lenders in a US$600 million package in favour of Ghana’s Cocobod, to enhance the cocoa sector productivity and sustainability.
Moreover, ITA is supporting Ghanaian agribusiness exporters’ participation to MacFrut, a major international event, to connect with both suppliers and buyers of the industry that will take place in September.
In all, 19 agribusiness companies from Ghana took part in the first training session including Bomarts Farms, HPW, Ropryn Company Limited, Red River Foods, GKV and Gold Coast Fruits. Others included Ohu Farms, Maphlix Trust Ghana, Gamosa Limited, C.A.D Ghana and Prudent Exports.
E-Lab Innova will involve around 40 Ghanaian companies totally.
ITA operates through a worldwide network of 79 offices in 65 countries including Ghana, where it operates under the Italian Embassy.