SMEs Call For Government Intervention

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

Kwamina Amoasi-Andoh addressing the gathering

Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country are unable to break even due to the increasing cost of production and low market demand.

Most SMEs have folded up, with the majority reducing their workforce in order to survive.

In line with this, the International Labour Organization (ILO), under its Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (SCORE) Programme, engaged policy-makers and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of trained enterprises to discuss how to support the manufacturing sector.

The breakfast meeting, held on the theme, ‘Developing SMEs for Employment Generation: The role of Government and the Private Sector,’ offered the platform to CEOs to discuss their challenges with government to find solutions.

It was also to assist government to identify specific problems facing the enterprises and address them, as well as strengthen the SCORE alumina.

Kwamina Amoasi-Andoh, SCORE National Project Manager, outlining the activities of the programmes, said 45 SMEs had successfully completed the programme and had been certified.

‘SMEs with potential for growth that goes through the SCORE Programme come out with tremendous improvement,’ he said.

Mr. Andoh however observed that certain challenges such as high taxes, lack of access to loans, coupled with low government support for the SMEs, were gradually thwarting the efforts of the enterprises to expand and create more jobs.

He therefore urged government, which was represented by the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mona Helen Qaurtey at the function, to support the programme by making some of the funds allocated to the sector available to the programme.

Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, Acting Chairman of the Trained Enterprise CEOs, in his address, said manufacturing clusters in pharmaceutical, aluminum and water processing industries have great potential to earn foreign exchange, employ many workers and accelerate economic development in the country.

‘It has been estimated that if Ghana can support about five to 10 pharmaceutical industries to expand and produce efficiently to support about 70-80 per cent of our needs in Ghana that can save the country about $1 billion,’ he noted.

Dr. Gyamfi noted that ‘we believe that the local manufacturers are creating employment with some of us using local raw materials so we should be supported to grow to support the economy.

Ms Mona Helen Quartey assured the enterprises of quick interventions to make their operations easy.

She said the government had allocated GH¢20 million of its budget for the development of SMEs and therefore asked SCORE to apply for support so they could expand to other regions of the country.

Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, also pledged the support of government for the programme, adding that the current challenge must be resolved by all.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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