On Friday 18th May, the Embassy of Ghana held a networking event on the topic of Sustainable Trade. The event addressed Dutch-Ghanaian trade and cooperation in Agriculture. Presentations were made by IDH – Sustainable trade initiative, Tony’s Chocolonely, DADTCO-PHILAFRICA, Bamboo Fietsen, and Afro Euro. These presentations provided a useful perspective for a lively discussion. The topics focused on key innovation platforms, partnerships and policies that is aimed to provide recommendations for future activities. One that will facilitate subsequent events, trade missions and other activities.
During the opening remarks, Her Excellency, Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, the ambassador of the Embassy of Republic of Ghana in the Netherlands emphasized that the primary aim of the network event was to identify the needs of Dutch and Ghanaian businesses in order to provide tangible solutions that improves the ease of trading and investing in Ghana.
Additionally, Her Excellency mentioned that the Embassy would be supporting the Ghanaian Diaspora community to set up a Ghana Business Network which would help to channel the needs and concerns of Ghanaian and Dutch businesses to the Trade Desk at the Ghana Embassy as well as other relevant stakeholders.
Following the opening remarks, a presentation by IDH – Sustainable trade initiative, helped to provide a framework for assessing and implementing best practice in sustainable trade. The next few presentations by Tony’s Chocolonely, DADTCO-PhilAfrica and Bamboo Fietsen all gave tangible examples of sustainable trade policies within their organizations affecting trade between Ghana and the Netherlands. Each of these examples stressed the importance of multi-stakeholder partnerships in areas such as; child labour, forced labour, women empowerment, and education among others. The last of these presentations by ATMA technology gave insights into the application of Blockchain technology in the international development realm within organizations such as WHO, UNDP and other international development agencies.
The presentations sparked a lively debate during the question and answer sessions allowing for interaction between the speakers and the audience. These discussions continued into the networking drinks segment of the event where food and beverage was served. From these presentations and debates, several recommendations were made with regards to future events and potential topic areas that could be addressed. Some examples include; Tourism, Art, and ICT.
This network event served as a barometer to gauge the enthusiasm and readiness of the Ghanaian-Dutch business community. It is now clear that optimism is high for business in Ghana. It is therefore vital that the new Trade Desk will provide consistent support, guidance and resources in the form of networking events, trade missions, matchmaking services, and reports to name but a few of the tangible deliverables required.