Story written by: Bright Philip Donkor
As part of efforts to develop entrepreneurial and private sector partnerships in Ghana, the Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State, Dorothy S. McAuliffe, has pledged the support of the United States to Ghana towards helping the growth of private businesses.
She stressed that such a move would boost Ghana’s economic transformation, and help accelerate the economic recovery of both countries. She also indicated that it would also provide an enabling environment for the private sector to sustain businesses, create jobs and reduce poverty through the mobilization of local, natural and human resources as well as value addition.
McAuliffe made the pledge yesterday during the launch of the first-ever Connecting Climate Entrepreneurs (CCE) Lab at the Academic City University College in Accra.
She explained that the CCE is a unique partnership with industry experts and companies who are committed to expanding green growth globally by empowering up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the climate space.
“Current, and future, CCE partners give their expertise, capital, opportunities, and network to help accelerate sustainable start-ups across the globe. CCE partners promote and create opportunities for climate entrepreneurs through industry engagement, training programmes, investment opportunities, and more,” she noted.
She said the CCE Lab would be a place where students, developers and startups can work with industry experts to create the sustainable technology and climate businesses that will power the future of Ghana, Africa and the world.
“We chose Accra and Academic City as the place for our first CCE Lab, thanks to the incredible learning and innovation community your President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and the rest of the Academic City faculty have created here. And the Academic City CCE Lab is just the first of many CCE Labs we plan to open across the globe,” she indicated.
She further thanked the President and the leadership of Academic City college for joining effort to support sustainable innovation through public-private partnership.
“It will take all of us, working together, to tackle the climate crisis and re-imagine how business is done in the 21st century,” she pointed out.
McAuliffe assured that the U.S. would continue to strengthen commercial connections with Ghana in order to move enough smaller and medium-sized Ghanaian businesses into giant ones.
She reiterated her outfit’s mission to help develop partnerships with the private sector in Ghana and the U.S.
“We have representatives from academia, business from start-ups to corporations, foundations, philanthropy – all these are focused on climate change and the intersection of tech and innovation with solutions for climate, and of course, part of that is mostly focusing on entrepreneurial solutions,” she said.
According to her, it will also help to impact livelihoods, and offer opportunities for Ghanaians as well as the Americans who are interested in working and partnering with the private sector and start-up capital here.
On how Ghanaian entrepreneurs and companies can partner with their counterparts in the U.S. private sector to foster the transfer of skills and technology, McAuliffe noted that the benefits of such partnerships are not one-sided.
She said for Ghanaian entrepreneurs and businesses, these are opportunities for skills transfer and expansion, adding that local companies are strategic partners who can help U.S businesses operate more effectively in the Ghanaian market.
She however indicated that Ghanaian entrepreneurs or companies seeking to partner with U.S must demonstrate transparency, integrity and flexibility in their business processes.
With the network and opportunity provided, she gave the assurance that there will be a lot of follow-up between the entrepreneurs they had met.
“The 20 delegates that make up our POD come from business, academia, venture capital and other sectors working in the climate space. We have been fortunate to have very productive meetings with incredible climate-focused entrepreneurs from all across Ghana as well as top representatives from the Ghanaian government from the U.S. who are interested in what’s happening in the start-up capital here in Ghana,” she added.
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