A research into digital skills and tools usage among Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) has recommended investments into these enterprises by government and donor organisations.
The study also called for investment in trade associations to meet their digital transformation needs.
It also called on government to update the curricular, especially for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, to include more content on technology application to help their students apply digital technology to their works.
The research, commissioned in March, 2022 by the Northern Ghana Vocational and Technical Alliance (NGVoTa), was funded by the GFA (Gesellschaft für Agrarprojekte in Übersee), a leading European Consulting firm, and supervised by Smart Consultancy.
The research, launched in Tamale, sought to develop and implement a Digital Maturity Assessment Tool for the informal sector and analysed the digital maturity of MSMEs, and come out with recommendations to improve the access and use of digital tools and skills by MSMEs.
Members of NGVoTA and Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana (FEPTAG) comprising the Ghana Hairdressers and Beauticians’ Association and Savelugu Tailors/wood workers, were interviewed while the Tamale Technical University Engineering Students Association and TVET institutions were also involved in the assessment.
The informal sector was digitising and more business digital skills were needed to take advantage of that opportunity, and due to market changes (like the African Continental Free Trade Area) competition would increase and every MSME needed to prepare for that to thrive.
The research found that the average digital maturity of the informal sector was low and there was the need to improve it.
It called on TVET institutions to partner trade associations to be aware of the digital skills needed by the MSMEs and create short upskill courses to cater for those needs.