As a part of the MNEmerge activities in Ghana, CSIR-STEPRI organised a regional stakeholder workshop to create awareness about the project, and to exchange views with various stakeholders on the contribution of MNEs to Ghana’s socio-economic development, especially in the areas of employment generation and poverty reduction. The two-day workshop under the theme Multinational enterprises in Africa: Challenges and options for effective development took place at CSIR-STEPRI in Accra, Ghana on the 10th and 11th of August, 2015. The workshop had about 45 participants, including representatives from the government, business community, NGOs, research organisations and the media.
The workshop included presentations on various themes, such as Ghana’s experiences on attracting MNEs, experiences of MNEs on engagement with local firms in Ghana, the role of MNEs in the country’s agricultural sector, and the impact of MNEs on local development and poverty reduction. Furthermore, group discussions were held on the role of African governments in enhancing MNEs’ impacts on economies and on the effectiveness of MNEs in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The participants of the workshop agreed that the activities of MNEs affect all areas of the MDGs, including eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, promoting gender equality and women empowerment, ensuring environmental sustainability as well as global partnership for development. Furthermore, it was concluded that the African governments take various measures to support MNEs’ contribution to the local socio-economic development and to the achievement of the MDGs, for instance in terms of creating a legal and regulatory framework and a functional operational environment for the companies. However, further actions should be undertaken for instance to provide support mechanisms for SMEs, as well as to facilitate effective linkages between MNEs and SMEs.