The Management of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has restated its commitment to the growth and development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME’s) in Africa, with a view to stimulating and deepening the economy of the continent.
Gabriel Edgal, managing director/CEO, UBA Ghana Limited made this disclosure in Accra, Ghana at the opening ceremony of the UBA Growing Businesses/EMPRETEC Workshop for SMEs in Ghana.
Edgal said the workshop for SMEs in Ghana is most appropriate at this time when the government of Ghana has committed to push for economic empowerment, employment generation, poverty alleviation and food security among others.
He said UBA believes in the critical role SME’s play as catalysts for economic revival and growth. Hence, the bank has planned the workshop to run in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote D Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
“We are embarking on this huge project because statistics have shown that a size able percentage of all businesses in Africa fall under the SME category and contribute approximately 40 percent of GDP of most African countries. With UBA fast establishing presence across Africa and with presence in 19 African countries already, it is our ambition to roll out this workshop in all the African countries” he said.
Commenting on UBA’s foray into the SME sector in Africa, Edgal noted that the bank was the first post consolidated bank in Nigeria to launch a N50 billion naira agro support fund for farmers (especially small scale farmers) towards achieving food security in Nigeria.
Participants are expected to identify SME businesses having acquired requisite tools and business skills to enable them develop their businesses, generate employment and create wealth for African at the end of the workshop.
Hon. John Gywtuah (MP), Ghana’s deputy minister of Trade and Industry while declaring the workshop open commended the bank for being steadfast with its promise to help in the development of African businesses especially in Ghana where it has planned SME workshops in Accra and Kumasi.
Mrs. Onari Duke, Chief Executive Officer, EMPRETEC Africa Foundation in her opening remark said the workshop is created by UBA Growing Businesses in partnership with EMPRETEC Africa Foundation for supporting the growth of SMEs across Africa in the area of capacity and entrepreneurial development.