After a successful version in 2022, the UNIDO West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) team in Ghana organized a second international conference on August 2023 in Accra, in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI).

The conference held under the theme, “Ghanaian Clusters, A Driving Force for the Economy” also created a platform to exhibit different pioneering cassava, fruits and cosmetics   products developed by UNIDO supported cluster groups in Ghana.

Successful outcomes on joint cluster actions towards competitiveness, Compliance to standards, Innovative financing, Market integration through the AfCFTA within the fruit, cosmetics, and cassava value chains, which are the primary focus areas of the West African Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) in Ghana were also discussed.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. K.T. Hammond, in a speech read on his behalf, reiterated the government’s dedication to giving priority to vital sectors – such as agriculture, trade and industry. This, he said, will breathe new life into the Ghanaian economy and set it firmly on an unstoppable path of growth. He commended UNIDO and the European Union for the quality delivery and coordination they had demonstrated over the years working with the government to promote cluster development, industrial competitiveness, and economic integration.

“The impact of our collaboration has been keenly felt across our nation. Companies under the government’s 1D1F programme have undergone transformative training in quality management principles, aligning their practices with national and international standards. This advancement has undeniably improved their competitiveness. Thanks to UNIDO and WACOMP, we have bolstered their capacities in areas such as labelling, branding and good manufacturing practices (GMPs), all of which are essential pillars of sustainable growth,” he stated.

On her part, Mrs. Ebe Muschialli, UNIDO Industrial Development Expert and WACOMP- Ghana Project Manager, added: “The joint commitment of UNIDO and the Government of Ghana have helped the supported Clusters and SMEs members to be more competitive to enter the international market. We are proud of the SMEs we have been working with over the past years, as they have gone a long way. They are producing new and more attractive products that are compliant with international standards. They are now equipped to promote Ghanaian products in Africa and around the world”.

Dr. Christian Namalguebzanga Kafando in a speech read on behalf of Mr. Lassane KABORE, Director of Industry at the ECOWAS Commission confirmed that the ECOWAS Commission, in coordination with Member States, is promoting the development of regional and national value chains by supporting the establishment of clusters, networks and partnerships among actors to promote a Sustainable Industrial Development of the region.

This year event was attended by more than 200 participants from African Union Commission, ECOWAS Commission, Federation of the West African Chambers of Commerce, and Industry (FEWACCI), representatives of AUDA/NEPAD, Business Councils and cluster practitioners from Ghana, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria, Uganda and Morocco.