Ms Jutta Urpilainen, the European Union Commissioner for International Partnerships, has expressed delight over the green innovations of some Ghanaian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose works are contributing to preserving and restoring the environment.
The SMEs, who had developed innovative products and contributed to waste management, benefited from the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project, funded by the EU.
It is a four-year joint project from the EU, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
The project is implemented in the Ashanti and Western regions and seeks to contribute to addressing the root causes of irregular migration by supporting sustainable and climate resilient local economies, green jobs, and development in departure, transit, and return regions.
Ms Urpilainen, as part of her official visit to Ghana on Thursday, paid a working visit to Innohub, a business accelerator and investment platform supporting entrepreneurs in green and circular economy.
During the visit, she engaged with some Ghanaian entrepreneurs on sustainable business ideas and the promotion of green jobs in Ghana.
The entrepreneurs shared their impactful stories, explaining their motivation, innovative approaches, and how their businesses were increasing communities’ resilience to climate change while contributing to the green transition.
The Supreme Pod Limited, an agricultural start-up, and a beneficiary of the Project, uses cocoa pulp, to produce juice for the beverage industry, which would have gone waste.
Another beneficiary, Ofnet Farms, also produces organic fertilisers using waste cocoa husks.
Ms Urpilainen commended the entrepreneurs for the “great innovations” and encouraged them to do more to boost the development of green interventions in their respective sectors.
“I am hopeful that all these great ideas would be implemented,” she said.
A media brief from the SNV, shared with the Ghana News Agency, indicated that so far a total of 57 entrepreneurs and SMEs had received business advisory services, including support to build businesses that have proper management systems under the GrEEn Incubation and Acceleration Programmes.
It said in December 2021, a total of 12 entrepreneurs received matching grant of GHS1.17 million from the EU under the SNV’s GrEEn Project to help them expand their businesses, as part of the GrEEn Innovations Challenge.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) defines Green Jobs as: “Decent jobs that contribute to preserving or restoring the environment, be they in the traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction, or in new, emerging green sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
It says these types of jobs increase efficient consumption of energy and raw materials, limit greenhouse gas emissions, minimise waste and contamination, and protect and restore ecosystems.
The Organisation has indicated that an estimated 18 million green jobs are expected to be created if the necessary measures and policies are put in place to support a transition from the traditional jobs to a green economy.