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Cooperazione allo sviluppo


Cooperazione allo sviluppo

The Italian Cooperation has supported the Economic restructuring effort of Ghana, following the strong commitment of the international financial institutions and in view of the importance of the country in the African context. Most of the donations were initially committed to SAE Company to rehabilitate the water system of Accra-Tema municipality with funding equivalent to more than 11 million.  In the period 1984-2004, Ghana received a total Italian grant of 19.8 million euros (1.53 million euros in the period 2000-2004) and soft loans for 17.5 million euros.

A strong positive impact on bilateral relations was noticed following the process of debt cancellation under the HIPC initiative, which led to the bilateral agreement for the ultimate debt cancellation (June 2005) for a total of 33.83 million euros.

The main initiative of the Italian Cooperation in the country is the program supporting the private sector, called “Ghana Private Sector Development Facility (GPSDF). This program started in 2004 and was subsequently refinanced in 2008. The GPSDF consists of a combined contribution of grant and soft loan for a total of 33 million euros, which supports a credit line for small and medium enterprises in Ghana.

The program has received an unconditional appreciation by both the companies and the Ghanaian government.

Also equally important is the participation of the Ghanaians resident in Italy; it is the  aim of the Italian cooperation to exploit the skills and economic resources acquired by Ghanaians for the development of their country of origin.

To accomplish this goal, the Italian government committed funds to support MIDA’s (Migration for Development in Africa) program implemented by IOM (International Organization for Migration). It should also be mentioned that Italy contributes to the European Union Cooperation, which granted to Ghana (on the IX FES 2002-2007) a total of 331 million Euros and foresees a similar amount during the period 2008-2013.


Following the successful implementation of the Project named “Ghana Private Sector Development Fund”, financed by the Italian Government in 2004 for a total amount of 11,000,000 Euro, the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MAE-DGCS) approved in December 2007 additional financial resources of 22,000,000 Euro (approximately 45 million GHC) in order to continue to support the effort of the Government of the Republic of Ghana to promote private sector development.

The new phase of the Project, implemented in collaboration with the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry, consists in two main components: a loan component of 20,000,000 Euro, used to establish a credit facility in favor of Ghanaian private Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and a grant component of 2,000,000 Euro, which covers the operational costs and the technical assistance activities of the Project.

Please click here to download the official Project Guidelines.


Eligibility Criteria

Beneficiaries of the Credit Facility shall be only Ghanaian companies which fulfil the following eligibility criteria:
* The ownership of the enterprise must be 100% private;
* The enterprise must be part of the production or of the service sector (i.e. farming activities are not eligible);
* The production activity of the enterprise must not harm the environment (i.e. wood processing activities are not eligible);
* The enterprise must not make use, directly or indirectly, of child labour;
* The operation of the enterprise must not have any direct or indirect connection with military activities or weapons (including fire arms, defence systems, military installations, equipment and materials), tobacco processing and luxury goods;
* On the other hand, start-up companies (companies registered but not yet into operation) are also eligible, as long as they provide the relevant certificates of registration.

Preferential Criteria

The following preferential criteria (related to the operational structure of the beneficiary companies) will be taken into consideration:
* Women entrepreneurs;
* High utilisation of women labour;
* High labour utilisation;
* Operation in the agro-industry or food industry sub-sectors;
* Operation in the industrial sector;
* Participation of or concrete synergies with Ghanaians residing in Italy;
* Italian participation in the ownership of the enterprise;
* Foreign participation in the ownership of the enterprise;
* Activities oriented to the improvement of the environment conditions;
* Activities in the Tourism sector.

In respect of loans approved for SMEs that are in compliance with one or more of the above preferential criteria, on-lending, re-lending and leasing special conditions will be applied.


If your company meets the described eligibility requirements, please download the application form and submit it to the GPSDF Project, along with your business plan, in one of the following ways:

1. By email (preferred, as we will need a digital copy of your business plan), to

2. By mail or in person, at: Italian Cooperation Office - N. 90 Sunyani Avenue, Box KDPMB 12, Kanda – Accra, Ghana.


Eligibility Criteria for Contracts to be Financed

In order to be considered eligible for the Credit Facility, the supply contracts shall have the following characteristics:

* The total aggregate value of the supply contracts, for which the financing is requested by a single SME, must not be lower than EURO 25,000.00 equivalent and not higher than EURO 550,000.00 equivalent.
* Each supply contract may include capital goods, spare parts, consumable production inputs and services thereto connected (like design, training, construction works, after sale services, etc) and may include also construction works.
* The total aggregate price of the contracts, for which a financing is requested by a single SME, must be relevant to goods and services of Italian origin for a quota not lower than 70%. The remaining 30% of the total aggregate price of the contracts can be related to the supply of goods and services (or construction works) of local origin (from Ghana or neighbouring Countries) including not more than 5% of the total aggregate price of the contracts for raw materials and/or semi-finished goods for manufacturing relevant to the investment. The quota of 30% that is not tied to supplies of Italian origin can be part of contracts established with Italian suppliers or can be related to contracts established with suppliers or construction company from Ghana or from neighbouring countries.
* The supply contracts must not include: (i) goods and services related, directly or indirectly to military activities, (ii) luxurious items and, (iii) goods that are not in conformity to the international rules on environmental protection and on workers’ safety.

Local Financial Intermediaries Eligible to provide Loans

The Local Financial Intermediaries to channel the Credit Facility to the beneficiary SMEs are all the Ghanaian-based Commercial Banks and Leasing Companies that satisfy the laws and regulations of the Republic of Ghana, provided that they sign a Framework On-lending Agreement with the Bank of Ghana:

* The Commercial Banks will act solely as intermediary of the Credit Facility by on-lending the loans received by the Bank of Ghana to the SMEs;
* The Leasing Companies will, as well, receive loans from the Bank of Ghana but they will act also as contracting party with the Suppliers. Therefore the Leasing Companies will have, for a certain period, the ownership of the purchased goods.

Characteristics of the Loans to the SMEs

In re-lending the loan received by the Bank of Ghana to an SME, the Financial Institution may make use of its own format, provided that the re-lending conditions to the SME are not less favourable than the following:
* Interest rate to SME between 9 and 12% per year;
* Repayment of principals in a period not less than 5 years and not exceeding 8 years after the communication from the Bank of Ghana of the final allocation of the contract/s to the Soft Loan. For leasing companies, the repayment period can last between 2 and 7 years;
* The repayment period for principals shall include a grace period which must be related to the reasonably expected time necessary for the delivery of the goods to the beneficiary SME and, where applicable, for the constructions works and commissioning; the grace period shall not exceed 2 years (for banks) or 1 year (for leasing companies).

Whenever the “Preferential criteria” can be applied, the interest rate indicated above will be reduced by 1%.


The database includes the contact details and several financial information about the participating SMEs, the suppliers (both Italian and Ghanaian), the financial institutions (local private commercial banks and leasing companies), the status of each loan application and the GPSDF Expert responsible for its finalization.

Please click here to download the complete database in Excel format.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the minimum and maximum amounts for the loan?
A. Between 25,000 and 550,000 Euro.

Q. What is the best interest rate I could obtain?
A. The interest rate, to be negotiated with the banks, will be between 9% and 12%. A reduction of 1% could be applied if you meet the preferential criteria.

Q. What are the repayment periods?
A. Between 5 and 8 years for the banks, and between 2 and 7 years for the leasing companies.

Q. Can I expect a grace period?
A. Yes, the grace period is related to the delivery/installation of the goods, and should not exceed 2 years (for the banks) and 1 year (for the leasing companies).

Q. Do I have to purchase equipment and materials from Italy?
A. Yes, at least 70% of the loan amount should be used to purchase equipment from Italy. The remaining 30% can be used to purchase equipment and services from Ghana or neighbouring countries.

Q. How can I find suppliers in Italy?
A. On the basis of the technical specifications described in your business plan, we will assist you in finding the proper suppliers.

Q. Will you charge me to find the suppliers or to revise my business plan?
A. No, there are no charges involved.

Q. Can I obtain a loan for farming activities?
A. No, there must be some kind of processing activity (for example, production of fruit juices, jams etc.)

Q. Can I obtain a loan for trading activities (shop, general commerce, import-export etc.)?
A. No, there must be some kind of productive activity.

Q. Can I obtain a loan for a proposal related to the service sector?
A. Yes: in fact, the tourism industry is now considered a preferential sector.

Q. Can I purchase raw materials?
A. Yes, up to 5% of the total loan amount can be used to purchase raw materials.

Q. Can I use the loan for constructions works?
A. Yes, up to 30% of the loan request can be used for constructions works.

Q. Do I need collaterals to obtain the loan?
A. While not required by the eligibility criteria, the financial institutions are unlikely to process the loan if no collaterals are offered. Leasing companies might accept to use the purchased equipment as collateral.

Q. Do I have to inject internal equity into the project proposal?
A. While not required by the eligibility criteria, it is indeed recommended.

Q. Does your approval mean that our company will receive the loan?
A. No, our approval means that you are eligible to receive the loan at the favourable conditions described above: however, your application will then be submitted to the local financial institutions for examination, in order to discuss the collaterals needed, the exact interest rate and the repayment/grace periods.

Q. Will you come to visit my facilities?
A. Yes, we will inspect your facilities once your application is deemed eligible.

Q. My bank is not listed in your list of financial institutions, can it participate in the GPSDF project?
A. Yes, all banks and leasing companies in Ghana are welcome to participate in the GPSDF project, as long as they sign the relevant Framework On-Lending agreement with the Bank of Ghana.


A Facility Management Unit (FMU) has been established in order to facilitate the implementation of the Project.

The beneficiary SMEs will have the responsibility for the identification and formulation of sound proposals for investment suitable to be financed through the Credit Facility. During the preparation of their proposals, the SMEs may request the advice of the FMU and its support in the preparation of the business plan. Similarly, the Financial Institutions will have the full responsibility for the evaluation of the requests for financing, but may request the advice of the FMU for the appraisal of the proposals.

The Italian Cooperation is recruiting interns in the IT and economy sectors; for further information, please contact our office at

The FMU can be contacted at:
Italian Cooperation Office – Ghana Private Sector Development Facility
N. 90 Sunyani Avenue, Box KDPMB 12, Kanda – Accra, Ghana
Tel. +233-(0)302-230117/237352/028-9555942, Fax +233-(0)302-235452, Email:

For further information, please visit the GPSDF website at