Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Monday launched the Ghana Online Mall to provide digital platform for small and medium-scale enterprises to market their goods and services to local and international markets.
He said the Government would support 10,000 businesses with full directory, product images and brief videos onto the digital platform from October to December this year under the first phase of the project and that 8,000 jobs were expected to be created in a year.
Ghana Online Mall is a business development and marketing digital platform to help small and medium-scale enterprises to use technology to market their products and services to the global community.
The online platform comprised four digital platforms namely; Ghana Online Mall, Africa Online Mall, NEIP e-Mall and NEIP Marketplace.
It will be a business directory for all businesses that will be hooked onto the platform to trade among themselves, showcase and sell their products to the global community.
Interested persons and businesses could visit the homepage of the digital platform through www.ghanaonline.com to register their businesses, market their goods and services for free, as well as identify potential businesses for investment relationship and funding.
The platform, an initiative of the Ministry of Business Development and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), will also help start-ups and small and medium-scale enterprises to access funding and global market as 500,000 businesses are expected to be hooked onto the platform in a year.
It forms part of the NEIP’s mandate to provide three key support services to entrepreneurship ecosystem in Ghana-Business Advisory Services, Access to Funding and Access to Local and International Market.
Mr Baffour-Awuah, who launched the digital platform at a ceremony in Accra, commended the Ministry of Business Development and NEIP for the initiative and encouraged individuals and businesses to patronise the platform to boost their businesses and make life more comfortable.
He said as the Government was implementing the industrialisation agenda with emphasis on value addition to raw materials, the online mall would afford small and medium enterprises to showcase their products and services to the wider market.
‘This will further boost trade with other African countries within the context of the Continental Free Trade Area Agreement signed by 50 African countries this year,’ he said.
‘In addition, the online mall platform, which will be a pool of service providers with diverse backgrounds, is an avenue for job creation, especially for our students, unemployed graduates, artisans, and all those who can offer some kind of services in the comfort of their homes. 8,000 jobs are expected to be created in the first 12 months.’
He said the Nana Akufo-Addo-led Government had embarked on digital transformation agenda, which would result in the formalisation of the national economy.
That, he said, was being achieved through the National Identification Card (Ghana Card), National Digital Addressing System, Paperless Ports System and Mobile Money Interoperability System to ensure financial inclusion.
He said over the past one year, through the Presidential Business Support Programme (PBSP), 7,000 businesses had received business advisory services from the NEIP, while 1,350 individuals received start-up capital nationwide.
He said about 95 per cent of beneficiaries under the PBSP had their accounts credited.
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Business Development, said last year the Ministry and the NEIP trained 7,000 youth giving them sufficient technical advisory services while funding had been given to 1,350 businesses as start-up capital.
He said the country’s economy would only develop if the skills and competencies of the people were developed and, thus, urged Ghanaian businesses to add value to their raw materials, brand and package them to meet international standards to compete favourably.
He admonished businesses that would be hooked onto the platform to be disciplined so as to enjoy the about 2.3 trillion African market economy to accelerate national growth.
Dr Awal said in view of the global village economy, it was easy to trade online and that government would continue to create conducive ecosystem for businesses to thrive.
He announced that next year government would support 5,000 young entrepreneurs with financial services aimed at boosting local entrepreneurship.