President Akufo-Addo, has launched the Ghana Enterprises Agency, the National MSMEs and Entrepreneurship Policy in the country with disbursement grant of GH¢145 million.
According to the President, the money will be given to 250 to 350 SMEs to help them grow into sustainable businesses.
He also launched the GEA Grant Support for SMEs under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, backed by the World Bank.
Addressing the press, President Akufo-Addo expressed his optimism and described the event as “a happy day for our nation’s micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs)”.
The President further indicated that the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Entrepreneurship Policy is the first of its kind in Ghana.
Additionally, he noted that “it is a policy designed to direct the growth of the sector, provide clear policy direction and opportunities for all actors within the MSME space“.
According to the President, this will also enable MSMEs to contribute “meaningfully towards the development of the country”.
“The Act establishing the Agency makes GEA the apex body to co-ordinate and promote the growth and development of MSMEs in the country. GEA will lead the way in creating a dynamic MSME ecosystem and entrepreneurial community to help propel Ghana’s growth”.
Policy will ensure judicious use of resources
Furthermore, the President intimated that, the policy direction is to reduce the duplication of efforts being witnessed in the MSME sector. The policy, he noted, will ensure the judicious use of resources and implement programmes to formalize and support the informal sector.
He further cautioned that is also designed to ensure “interventions to support MSMEs in the country”.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Grant Fund is established to support SMEs recover from the effects of the pandemic.
Also, he revealed that it is also instituted to help SMEs resuscitate their operations under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project.
Support to businesses in the country
Commenting on his mission since he came into office, President Akufo-Addo explained that it has always been to move the country from imports and exports of raw materials to a value-added, industrialised one.
This, he believes, will create the necessary numbers of jobs needed for the teeming masses of Ghanaian youth.
“We cannot realise this vision fully without creating and strengthening an agency for the MSME sector to play a lead role in the transformation process. One might ask, why MSMEs? The answer is simple. It is because the sector employs more than eighty percent (80%) of the workforce, and generates some seventy percent (70%) of the Gross Domestic Product.
“The goal was to limit the impact of the pandemic on job losses and livelihoods, by supporting MSMEs. Administered by the then NBSSI, now GEA, the novel seven hundred- and fifty-million-cedi (GH¢750 million) stimulus package from Government to the private sector provided relief to various businesses, in order to help sustain them, and help keep staff on the payroll”.
To date, the President revealed that some three hundred thousand businesses have benefited from these interventions.
“We know there is more work to be done, and we are doing the work. We will not rest on our oars. The government is working systematically to ensure that we find more solutions to support entrepreneurs and their MSMEs to fuel their growth. The one hundred-billion-cedi (GH¢100 billion) Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ project is one such innovative initiative, which will revitalise and transform the economy. It, indeed, anchors bright prospects for the medium-term”.