Written by Saaiqa Merali.
The Netherlands-Ghana Business Fair kick-off event welcomed dignitaries, industry veterans and entrepreneurs to an introductory morning session on Friday the 24th of January at the prestigious New World Campus in the Hague.
For a fourth year running, Vincent Gambrah of Afro Euro and his team brought the business fair to engage and inform interested parties in the Netherlands about business and investment culture and opportunities in Ghana. This year, Mr. Gambrah hoped that the focus would be on the importance of building relationships and partnerships between parties in both countries and create an environment of knowledge sharing as well.
“We come together easily to eat, drink and even pray – now we should come together to work and invest well.”
Mr. Gambrah started off this year’s fair with the strong message that social capital is of more importance than monetary investments, and that attendees should aim to make partners in knowledge.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the Netherlands, Her Excellency Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, brought an air of hilarity and wisdom to the morning event. In her keynote speech, Her Excellency shared a story of her personal experience as a businesswoman in the agriculture industry and how she learnt what it meant to truly add value to the community around us. The audience was assured that Ghana’s “doors are open”, as they were urged to visit the country and see for themselves the opportunities that avail themselves to investors and entrepreneurs alike.
Another notable guest was Mr. Chris van Dam from the House of Representatives in the Netherlands. Mr. van Dam shared some insightful thoughts with the guests about how he, and his political party, are of the belief that the “people themselves should be the main energy” in our society, not necessarily the government. Whilst praising Ghana for being a champion in peacekeeping in West Africa, Mr. van Dam reminded Ghanaian natives and diaspora that they should be aware of their strengths as a country; Ghana is indeed wealthy in “people power” considering the sheer number that makes up the population.
The audience at the kick-off morning was varied in age, profession and origin, including people from 11 different countries such as Curaçao, Cameroon and of course, Ghana. With a range of professionals in accounting, marketing, software development, e-commerce, waste energy and investment, the networking sessions were bustling with high-energy exchanges about people’s current passions and future dreams.
Finally, Emmanuel Baisie, a representative from Ga South municipality in Greater Accra Region, gave the audience a teaser of what doing business in Ghana would be like. With a short but very sweet outline of the current projects his office has undertaken, Mr. Baisie promised enterprising members of the audience that the GA Mayor’s office is “ever-ready to work with [them]”
Relevant topics, such as: ‘how to become a rich farmer’ were explored through a workshop given by Rutger Groot (East-West seed). De Groot emphasized on the opportunities for growing vegetables and ensuring quality seeds. Nana Owusu, a representative from Asanteman Traditional Council shared about the role of chiefs when acquiring land in Ghana. Overall, partakers were informed on the relevant opportunities and needed information when starting a business in Ghana.
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