INBAR held a workshop to bring together financial institutions and bamboo and rattan artisans in Ghana.
On Friday, 4 March 2022, INBAR West Africa Regional Office (WARO) organised an awareness workshop in Accra for representatives of banks and other financial institutions as well as bamboo and rattan Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the Inter Africa smallholder bamboo livelihood development programme under the theme “Bamboo for Green Development”.
The aim of the workshop was to bring the actors within the bamboo and rattan industry and financial institutions to dialogue and explore ways financial institutions can support SMEs within the bamboo and rattan sector to ensure growth and development.
In Ghana, a major challenge affecting local bamboo and rattan artisans is access to credit or micro-finance to expand their businesses and production. As part of actions to bridge this gap, INBAR WARO in collaboration with the Bamboo and Rattan Unit of the Forestry Commission organised the workshop with funding support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development. Representatives from rural banks in the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana participated in the workshop and shared with the SMEs, various financial schemes that can be accessed to boost their production.
In a breakout dialogue session, facilitated by Dr. Paul Danso, good business record keeping, business registration, prudent financial management among others, were identified as important factors that rural banks and other financial institutions consider in giving out credit facilities to entrepreneurs. SMEs, within the bamboo sector, were thus advised to ensure they meet the basic requirements to enable them to qualify for financial assistance when the need arises.
In a presentation by Kenneth Okine, founder of Pamplo Ghana; a startup bamboo processing company that is into the production of toothpicks, branded bamboo cutlery and other crafts, he noted the enormous potential of bamboo to create sustainable jobs for the unemployed. Using his business as a case study, he demonstrated how with some financial support, his business can upscale its production capacity and create more jobs within the sector. He called for partnerships and support from key stakeholders to drive the bamboo industrialisation agenda in Ghana.
Michael Kwaku, Ghana National Coordinator, INBAR, in a statement mentioned that over the past 2 months, INBAR WARO has been organising a series of business development training workshops for bamboo and rattans to enable them to position their businesses on the path of profitability. He reaffirmed INBAR’s unflinching support towards facilitating dialogue and the needed advocacy to develop Ghana’s bamboo and rattan sector. INBAR WARO’s current collaboration with the Bamboo and Rattan Unit to foster the implementation of Ghana’s bamboo and rattan strategic plan is part of actions towards developing the sector in Ghana.