The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the development and growth of micro, small to medium enterprises.
Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA and Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Executive Director of NBSSI, signed the agreement in Accra.
It was witnessed by Mrs Anna Armo-Himbson, the Deputy Executive Director of NBSSI and Mr Joseph Yaw-Bernie Bernnie, the Head of Medical Devices Department, FDA.
The agreement aims at formalising and institutionalising the processes and procedures of the two institutions in line with their mandate towards supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to streamline their operations.
Mrs Darko said in realising the aspirations of the Government to industrialise Ghana, the roles of the two institutions had become very significant in the effort to support the development and growth of MSMEs.
She said statistics reveal that more than 90 per cent of local industries that fell under the purview of the FDA were SMEs, majority of which were operated by women and young entrepreneurs either in the food and cosmetics or household chemical sectors.
Such businesses, she said, were usually operated from homes and were found in virtually all the districts of the country.
Mrs Darko said beyond the financial challenges they faced, many of those SMEs experienced difficulties in meeting regulatory requirements needed to obtain market authorisation.
That handicap, she said, stalled government’s effort through the NBSSI to see to the development of those SMEs, hence preventing such businesses to access the market and grow.
She said the FDA had made significant strides in responding to those challenges through a paradigm shift in its regulatory approaches to facilitate industries’ positive response to regulatory requirements in areas such as the downward review of fees and charges to MSMEs.
As part of the collaboration, Mrs Darko said the FDA would make available all the necessary information needed by the NBSSI officials manning the Business Advisory Centres (BACs) across the country and support them in areas relevant to its regulatory frameworks.
She said that would ensure that the BACs truly became one stop shop in providing SMEs with adequate information regarding market authorisation procedures and related matters to allow for the smooth registration of their products.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh, on her part, said the collaboration was important for the NBSSI Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works Partnership that sought to strengthen MSMEs, young Ghanaians and women-focused interventions.
“We view this formalised collaboration between NBSSI and FDA as an opportunity to promote efficiency as we deliver our mandate regarding a one-stop shop support to MSMEs, to ensure their products are of the right quality, safe, efficacious, and meet acceptable and international standards,” she said.