The Head of the Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NIED) Cluster at GIZ-Ghana, Mr Gerald Guskowski, has described its partnership with the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), a significant feat as it will support the digitalization of up to 500 growth oriented companies and sustain some 1,600 jobs, minimum.
Expressing his excitement, he noted that the pandemic has afforded businesses the leverage of incorporating and exploring opportunities of digitalization.
“This is why I am really excited to see that we are able to overcome these challenges and that we managed to also explore the opportunities and positive sides of the pandemic.
“This partnership will support the digitalization of up to 500 growth-oriented SMEs, which will in turn help sustain at least 1,600 jobs. We want to keep these businesses alive and strengthen their resilience during Covid-19, thereby sustaining jobs”.
Also speaking at the grant agreement dubbed: ‘Covid-19 SME Innovation and Digitalization Support Scheme’, Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Executive Director of NBSSI noted that, the partnership along with the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation will intensify the process efficiency and competitiveness of SMEs by providing access to knowledge, technologies, and expertise in the field of digitalization and process innovation.
“Most of us have to come to accept the fact that staying resilient during this period of Covid-19 is the new standard for progress. And for businesses to stay resilient, formalization and digitization of their operations are a must. It helps businesses to reach out to a bigger market, erases physical barriers, makes payment for goods and services faster and easier.
“In addition to these benefits, it helps the government in the formulation and implementation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) policies.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh was of the opinion that, they will be afforded a better chance “to better understand and learn more the needs and challenges of SMEs, even beyond digitalization, to support the policy agenda”.
With Covid-19 still an ominous presence in the world, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh, intimated that, digitalization of SMEs remains a front-burner issue on the “SME policy agenda in Ghana”.
“Consequently, the signing of this agreement marks a critical turning point for SMEs in Ghana, and we are happy to be spearheading this”.
She further noted, the collaboration was in tandem with the objective of the Government of Ghana and the NBSSI to ensure that most of the MSMEs in Ghana get formalized to help government and the Board to direct support to MSMEs, tailor trainings to meet the need gaps of the MSMEs, and connect businesses to bigger markets.
“As NBSSI transitions to the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in a few weeks, this MoU could not have come at a better time. The new Agency will make the formalization and digitization drive a very important part of our agenda”.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the German Development Agency (GIZ) have signed a €1.5 million grant agreement to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.