Project Update: Dutch Export Academy-Week 1


Project Update: Dutch Export Academy-Week 1

Fifth Edition of the Dutch Export Academy Kicks Off

The Dutch Export Academy (DEA) has commenced its fifth edition, marking the beginning of an enriching journey for the 20 selected Ghanaian entrepreneurs looking to expand their reach into the European market. The official launch took place on the 14th of May 2024 at the Tomreik Hotel in East Legon, setting the stage for an intensive training program.

Launch Event Highlights

The launch event was gracefully moderated by Joana Chemel, who extended a warm welcome to the invited guests, project partners, and participants. The event began with a welcome address from Bram van Opijnen, the 1st Secretary of the Trade and Economic Cluster at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Ghana. His speech highlighted the importance of strengthening trade ties between Ghana and the EU and the significant role the DEA plays in achieving this goal.

Following this, Tjalling Wiarda, General Manager of the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), and Julia Appiah from MDF West Africa, shared insights about the implementing partners’ roles and the anticipated impact of the program. Barnabas Apom, Project Manager of the Horticulture Business Platform, also addressed the participants, emphasizing the platform’s objectives and encouraging DEA participants to become members.

Panel Discussion on Horticulture and Export Landscape

A key feature of the launch was an engaging panel discussion focused on the horticulture and export landscape in Ghana. The discussion was segmented into four insightful parts:

  1. Horticulture in Ghana: Panelists discussed the current state, challenges, and opportunities within the horticulture sector. Fred Asante-Omane, Principal Export Development Officer at the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, Former Project Manager of Hortiffresh and Managing Partner at KNOX Consulting, Wisdom Tahn Konwuruk, Senior Agriculture Policy Officer, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana as well as Harry Bleppony, Deputy Director at the Directorate of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, provided their expert insights.
  2. Export Landscape: This segment delved into the intricacies of exporting horticultural products from Ghana, covering regulations, market trends, and global competition. Contributions from Charles Osafo of Meridian Ports Services and Benjamin Agbesi, Managing Director of AB Farms, provided their personal experiences and expert-knowledge to the discussion.
  3. Success Stories and Best Practices: Panelists shared their success stories and best practices, offering valuable lessons from their experiences in the horticulture and export industries.
  4. Opportunities and Programs for Exporters: The discussion highlighted existing programs and initiatives supporting Ghanaian exporters, providing a roadmap for participants to leverage these resources effectively.

A dynamic Q&A session followed the panel discussion, allowing participants to engage directly with the experts and gain deeper insights.

Official Launch and Networking

Julia Appiah concluded the event by officially launching the 5th edition of the DEA. This was followed by a networking session, providing an opportunity for participants to connect with each other and with the industry experts.

Training Program Begins

The training program officially kicked off on Wednesday, 15th May 2024. Participants engaged in a series of interactive and practical sessions designed to enhance their export readiness.

The first week’s training covered:

  • Business Model Canvas: Trainers, Ekow and Vivian guided participants through the process of developing a robust business model.
  • Industry Experiences and Best Practices: Emmanuel Ampadu, Co-Founder of Yvaya Farms, shared valuable insights from his entrepreneurial journey.
  • Food Safety and Quality Assurance Measures: Gloria Asum-Kwarteng, Head of Export Control, led an informative session on maintaining high standards in food safety and quality.

The week concluded with a practical training session on developing an export plan/strategy, led by the trainers, followed by an in-depth session on the practicalities and procedures of exporting from Ghana by Fred Omane Asante, Head of Agribusiness at GEPA.

The DEA program promises to be a comprehensive and impactful journey for all participants, equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in international markets. We look forward to the continued success and growth of these ambitious entrepreneurs. The next sessions will continue from the 28th to 30th May, 2024.


GNBCC | News