Madam Rosie Glazebrook, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CommonWealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), has noted that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the development of economies in the Commonwealth.
This, in her view, underscored the CWEIC strategy to work with partners in key CommonWealth markets to foster MSME growth.
Madam Glazebrook made the comments when she called at one of the CWEIC’s key partners in Ghana, UMB (Universal Merchant Bank).
A statement issued by the UMB, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said this formed part of Madam Glazebrook’s official tour of Ghana, this week.
It said the Bank structured the visit to enable Madam Glazebrook get a first -hand view of Ghanaian MSMEs, by hosting the CWEIC delegation at its “Centre for Businesses,” within the Madina market enclave.
Madam Glazebrook in her remarks said: “UMB is Ghana’s oldest Merchant Bank, and I daresay the Commonwealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships”.
“Central to our work at the CWEIC is the CommonWealth Advantage – the fact that overall, its 21 per cent cheaper to do business across the Commonwealth.
“We are thus passionate about bring this advantage to bear on businesses and I am excited that one of our key partners is doing this in lock-step with us here in Ghana.”
Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO of UMB, in his remarks noted: “A number of significant economic reports argue that MSMEs account for at over 70 per cent of all economic activity in Ghana.”
“As a Bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972, and thus we share this passion for MSMEs with the CWEIC.
“Indeed, we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner the University of Coventry programme to build capacity for African SMEs and look forward to rolling out the programme this year, especially to MSMEs with female leadership”.
The statement said Madam Glazebrook and her party were escorted around the market by Nana Dwemoh Benneh and other officials of the Bank.
It was followed by a presentation by Mr Roland Akafia, Head of Strategy on UMB’s MSME programme and the integration with CWEIC and a luncheon with MSME customers of the Bank.
UMB is a leading indigenous bank reputed for bringing a uniquely Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972. Headquartered in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates out of 35 branches across Ghana.
Its strategic aspiration is to become a digital 1st, SME focused bank.
The CWEIC is a commercial, not-for-profit membership organisation with an official mandate from the Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment throughout the 54 Commonwealth member nations.
The role of CWEIC is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by The Queen, to drive trade and investment. CWEIC’s network includes around 100 business and government Strategic Partners (members) including UMB, Zenith Bank, Trade and Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories.
Every two years, CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).