Peter Kersten (1945) spent most of his working career as general manager marketing communications at Canon Europe, the European headquarters in Amsterdam of Canon Inc, the Japanese camera and office automation brand. During that time, Peter took a break of four years from Canon as an Account Director at a multi-disciplinary design agency, where he was responsible for retail, corporate and packaging design projects. His last designation at Canon Europe was that of General Manager, Brand and Design Management at Canon’s Corporate Strategy Centre.
Following his extensive time in the corporate environment, Peter became president of the BNO – the Association of Dutch Designers, a position that he held for five years before stepping down and becoming an honorary member of, and ambassador for the BNO. These roles are enriched by his being a member of the boards of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA), and the Dutch Design Management Network (DMN), respectively and more recently a number of PUM - Netherlands Senior Experts assignments on marketing management and design.
During 2008 – 2012, Peter promoted Dutch design studio’s as design mission leader at various missions in South Africa, China, India and Colombia In addition to running his own brand consultancy – Brand Sync – Peter has consulted to Russian, Chinese, Polish, Colombian, German, Swedish, Dutch, South African, Ghanaian and Indian companies, government institutes and NGO’s on design, marketing management, marketing-communications and brand building issues. He is also a frequent speaker at international conferences.
Senior Officer, Trade and Information, Private Sector Development
Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Accra-Ghana
Gladys Ofei works with the economic section at the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana where she handles trade, information, education and private sector development. She is Ghanaian and has a background in the fields of industrial art, management, trade & investment promotion, insurance & risk management, and has studied in Ghana, UK, Canada and The Netherlands.
Ghana and the Netherlands are currently in the process of changing their relationship by moving from aid to trade, and in line with that new policy our main focus at the embassy is trying to promote trade between both countries as much as possible. My main task is to provide information by being the first point of contact for Dutch companies who are interested in doing business in Ghana, as well as Ghanaian businesses interested in doing business in the Netherlands. We design programs that would attract Dutch investors to come to Ghana and also promote trade between our two countries.
A big focus area is the development of the private sector - we make sure that the Dutch companies that are settled in Ghana or who invest in Ghana are able to operate here in a comfortable way; if there are any bottlenecks within the system we work along various relevant agencies to ensure that Dutch companies are able to operate comfortably. In other words, we look at ways to improve the business climate in Ghana. We also focus very much on entrepreneurship: There are various entrepreneurship programs that we’ve developed and we are continuously looking at more ways in which we can support the entrepreneurial space here in Ghana. We are also setting up a new program – the Orange corners – and various programs that we already have, like the Ghana Climate Innovation Center, The New Business Challenge, The Dutch Export Academy – will all fall under this umbrella.
Finally, regarding the education part of my job I coordinate the NUFFIC programs, which are tailor-made training programs that we have for capacity building for organizations in Ghana. We also have scholarship programs we provide for Ghanaian mid-career professionals to study in the Netherlands. For the creative sector, we support the Ghana Design Network through exchanges, workshops and masterclasses, exhibitions and seminars/ design focused talks among others. These are all part of the institutional capacity-building programs I handle.
One of the things I love the most about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to interact with so many people on a daily basis. There is a lot of room to be creative; you’re compelled to come up with new ideas all the time which keeps it exciting - it’s never boring.
PSD Coach Tanzania, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia
Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO.nl)/ Netherlands Enterprise Agency (The Hague, Netherlands)
As Private Sector Development (PSD) Coach I aim to support the Netherlands representation in Tanzania and Ghana in their efforts to remove trade barriers, create a business-enabling environment and in matching local and Dutch business partners.
For this, I am working closely together with the different PSD instruments within RVO and with other PSD partners such as Nuffic and CBI in order to achieve synergy in our interventions to promote private sector development.
Also I develop interventions (so called PSD Apps) which contribute to local capacity building and at the same time support Dutch organizations and entrepreneurs in doing business. Typical examples of interventions are Government-to-Government cooperation (G2G), International cooperation between knowledge institutions (K2K), matchmaking (missions) for local entrepreneurs.
Former positions within RVO.nl:
-Development and monitoring of international cooperation projects (Government-to-Government / G2G) with Chinese government organizations. The G2G programme aims to contribute to an improved business climate and enhanced opportunities for trade and investment for both countries. Moreover, in 2011 a large number of projects were designed to contributed to environmental protection.
-Developing and monitoring G2G projects in pre-accession countries such as Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania. Project themes included :police cooperation, public finance, land ownership, environmental protection, health and horticulture.
-Netherlands Constituency Support Facility. Coordination and development of public finance related projects in (WB/IMF) Constituency Countrie