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2013 Press Releases

African Diaspora Marketplace Provides Financial Boost to Three Ghanaian Entrepreneurs

January 9, 2013

Press Attaché, US Embassy Ghana
Tel (0302)741150; Fax (0302)741692

The business plans of three Ghanaian entrepreneurs received a financial boost of as much as $100,000 each from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Western Union. In all, 17 U.S.-based African diaspora-driven businesses in six countries were awarded grants through the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM).

The grants in Ghana went to Gonja Meat Company, Viable Vision Industries Ghana Limited, and Sardis Enterprises International. Gonja Meat Company, an agribusiness engaged in slaughter, processing, and sale of fresh hygienic meat, will use the grant to produce high quality and affordable meats using locally raised livestock, processed in its abattoir in Kumasi, and sold through its sanitary outlet stores. Sardis will establish a strong brand for the Ashanti line of produce, particularly its organic pineapple, and expand production and export from approximately 4,900 to 42,000 pineapples per month in 2013. Viable Vision, a commercial mushroom farm, plans to use its grant to set up centers and support programs to train small-scale mushroom producers and hobby growers. 

Launched in 2009, ADM is one of the few public-private initiatives to harness the knowledge and resources of the U.S.-based African diaspora and other entrepreneurs to address economic opportunity by increasing access to capital for small - and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in sub-Saharan. Forty-four finalists vied for the ADM awards with business plans addressing high priority, high-impact sectors in Africa.

ADM is jointly funded by USAID, the Western Union Company, and the Western Union Foundation. Other contributing partners include Ecobank, African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), George Washington University Center for International Business Education and Research, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the U.S. Department of State, and Irv Barr Management. USAID and other development leaders believe that the fight against poverty in Africa is largely a fight against unemployment. Establishing innovative, sustainable business initiatives and promoting entrepreneurship generates jobs and capital, creating the potential to improve the fortunes of generations to come.

“The African Diaspora Marketplace will strengthen and help satisfy demand for locally-produced products and services,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “These businesses will buy, sell and hire from within the communities they serve, putting money into the local economy, building local capacity, and fueling broad-based economic development.”

H.E. Ambassador Erieka Bennett, head of Mission for the African Union (AU) Diaspora African Forum is delighted to host the second reception to honor the Ghanaian Winners of this prestigious Award at its Mission at the W.E.B. Dubois Center in Accra, Ghana on January 9, 2013. The African Union Diaspora African Forum is the first diplomatic mission of its kind endorsed by the AU to support and encourage Diaspora participation in the development of Africa.