From May 6 to 10, 2019, the head of the private sector development division of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in Berne, Liliana de Sà, and the program manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Gisela Roth, visited Ghana for a four-day mission.
The objective of the mission was to review the performance of the private sector development portfolio of Switzerland’s development cooperation in Ghana and discuss the future of the cooperation with stakeholders. The delegation met with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana, participated in the SECO-IFC semi-annual review meeting and attended the second policy dialogue and coordination platform meeting under the Ghana Private Sector Competitiveness Program (GPSCP) in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and the Deputy Minister of Education.
The delegation visited selected oil palm processing mills, women groups and a technical and vocational education institution in the Eastern Region of Ghana, which are supported under the GPSCP in partnership with Solidaridad and GIZ.
At an artisanal processing mill where the program is piloting one of three improved cockstoves, the owner of the processing center remarked that “the new cookstove reduced the time required to properly cook the oil palm fruits”, while a woman processor, who is a user of the facility also observed that “the new cookstove helped me save cost and time because I don’t have to hack the fresh fruit bunches before cooking”. The delegation interacted with women artisanal oil palm processors that were encouraged under the program to form savings groups known as village savings and loans association (VSLA) on the benefits of the scheme to their business and livelihoods.