At the just ended Second Intra-Commonwealth Trade Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, a passionate appeal has been made to wealthy individuals to finance and support Small and Medium Enterprises to grow.
The Summit organized by the Intra-Commonwealth SME Association (ICSA) from 28 – 29 May, at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel, in Nairobi, was focused on facilitating meetings between buyers and sellers to discuss trade and joint ventures in seven sectors which have been identified by ICSA for trade and investment promotion - textiles and clothing, gems and jewellery, leather and leather products, agro-processed products, light manufacturing, packaging, information and communication technology, E-Health and Medical Equipment.
In a keynote address to the summit, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said: “Our latest data shows trade in goods alone has increased by about $40 billion in 2017.
“Today, intra-Commonwealth trade amounts to almost 20 per cent of the total global trade of the Commonwealth. And there is immense potential for trade within the Commonwealth to grow yet more.”
Among the most pressing items on the summit's agenda are making it easier for SME’s to obtain finance and improving access to the digital marketplace.
The Secretary-General added: “Access to trade finance is high among the constraints faced by SMEs - especially those in small states.
In his presentation to the Summit, the Executive Director of Ghana’s Youth Business Network Foundation, Solomon Adjei called on wealthy individuals across the globe to emulate the examples of Nigeria’s Tony Elumelu and Ghana’s Dr. Daniel McKorley (McDan) who are dedicating much time and resources to finance and support SMEs in Africa.
“I believe African Governments are playing their part to eradicate the perennial youth unemployment canker, but the Governments cannot do it alone, and so I think it is time private individuals step in and support the ecosystem, and on that score I applaud the likes of Tony and McDan, and all those dedicating their resources to support SMEs; together we can turn the many job seeking youth into job creators”, he said.