The government has been urged to give more opportunities to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the manufacturing sector to enhance their competitiveness and contributions to economic growth.
Ms Adjo Dede Asare, Chief Executive Officer of Alfie Designs Limited, said businesses in the manufacturing sector could produce enough to meet the country’s demand.
She said instead of providing those businesses with regular financial support, awarding them government manufacturing contracts would help to strengthen their capacity and facilitate their growth to become more competitive.
She was speaking during a panel discussion at the ongoing Virtual Accra SDGs Investment Fair 2021 organised by the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
The panel discussion was under the topic: “Business Opportunities for MSMEs in the Pandemic Era: Business Continuity and Building Resilience in the Era of the Pandemic.”
The government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2020, selected about four companies to produce personal protective kits for frontline health workers, leading the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.
The companies were Dignity DTRT, Sleek Garments, Cadling Fashions, and Alfie Designs Limited.
Ms Asare, whose Alfie Designs was among the selected companies, said local manufacturing MSMEs showed their capabilities during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic by producing quality and adequate Personal Protective Equipment to help the country fight the disease.
She explained that more of such contracts were, therefore, needed by the local manufacturing firms to enable them to build their capacities and become competitive globally.
“Financing is good, capacity building is amazing but actual purchase orders, actual work is what makes the business grow and so if we want to change our economy into manufacturing that will provide large scale jobs then we need to look inward, let them make the mistakes and learn from those mistakes. That is how other manufacturing countries are doing.
“Trust me, my growth would not have happened if I was not given the opportunity,” she said and called for strong policies to curb rampant imports, strengthen local manufacturing firms and create more jobs.
Ms Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, CEO of Ghana Enterprise Agency, noted that a lot of MSMEs were unable to make a case for themselves and access the government’s COVID-19 relief packages because their operations were not formalised.
She, therefore, advised young entrepreneurs to ensure that they acquired all requisite documentation and permits before undertaking such businesses to enable them to access capital and such reliefs.
She also assured of the government’s commitment to supporting MSMEs to facilitate their growth, saying, Government has a massive plan to support the business industry.”
Mr Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, said the sector would continue to leverage technology to improve its service delivery.
Mr Matthew Boadu Adjei, CEO of Oasis Capital, urged MSMEs to ensure proper allocation of their limited resources, especially during pandemics to enable them to remain relevant and successful.