STAKEHOLDERS DELIBERATE ON DRAFT NATIONAL MSME POLICY

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) organized a consultative workshop for stakeholders within Ghana’s business sector to collate inputs to help enhance the draft National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Policy for Ghana.

With the support of the BUSAC Fund and its development partners, Danida, USAID and the EU, the workshop was held in Accra on November 13, 2018 for stakeholders within the southern sector as part of the consultative process for the validation of the National MSME Policy.

In a statement read on his behalf by the Executive Director of National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Ms. Kosi Yankey, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Carlos K. Ahenkurah stated that the National MSME policy is aimed at promoting the development of MSMEs, which is part of government’s ten-point thematic agenda for the industrial transformation of Ghana’s economy.

Hon. Ahenkurah further pointed out that the MSME Policy seeks to provide the administrative, regulatory, institutional and legal framework to stimulate the growth and development of the MSME sector.

“The strategic objectives of the National MSME policy include facilitating the building and promotion of a dynamic, viable and promising MSME sub sector that encourages an innovative entrepreneurial culture and supports high-growth status. It is also to help formalize the informal sector which makes up a huge percentage of our economy”, he remarked.

The Deputy Director of NBSSI, Ms. Anna Amo Hinson stated that even though Ghana’s economic development process relies heavily on the growth of the MSME sector which creates wealth for over 80 per cent of the citizenry, there was no policy to provide a clear direction and coordination of efforts to accelerate the development of the sector and the economy as a whole.

She added that it is in the light of this challenge, that the Ministry of Trade, in close collaboration with the NBSSI is spearheading the initiative to develop the National MSME policy. She expressed optimism that the new policy will provide further impetus to government’s industrial transformation agenda.

In a brief remark, the BUSAC Fund Manager, Mr. Nicolas J. Gebara emphasized that a policy aimed at promoting the growth of SMEs is very important as SMEs contribute significantly to the economy and stimulate economic diversification through their development of new and unsaturated sectors of the economy.

“A policy drive to grow successful SMEs must be triggered if long term sustainable economic development and transformation of Ghana is to be realized as pursued by government. Companies classified as SMEs must be assisted to develop in order to maximize their potential and contribute to the economic development of the country”, Mr. Gebara remarked.

He also commended MoTI for taking the initiative to develop the MSME policy and expressing the desire to allow the NBSSI to spearhead the implementation of the policy.

In his address, the Vice President of AGI in charge of SMEs, Mr. Humphrey Ayim-Darke also highlighted some of the strengths of the draft MSME policy, particularly the segments that attempt to properly categorize all players within the MSME space.

While participants engaged in detailed discussions on the various segments of the draft policy, one of the key issues that clearly stood out was the challenge of access to credit for Ghanaian MSMEs. Participants were of the view that high loan default rate among MSMEs, coupled with the difficulty in tracing defaulting SMEs, was the main reason behind their inability to access credit.

To address this challenge, participants suggested that the policy should recommend innovative strategies to enhance the traceability of all MSMEs, such as strongly encouraging MSMEs to register with recognized trade associations in the country. 

MOTI, with the support of the BUSAC Fund and its development partners – Danida, USAID and the EU, is organizing similar stakeholder consultative workshops in Kumasi and Tamale on November 15, 2018 to offer all relevant stakeholders an opportunity to provide meaningful inputs into the draft MSME policy before its final validation.

By Ebenezer Kpentey, BUSAC Fund