Akufo-Addo launches Ghana Enterprise Agency
President Nana Akufo-Addo, has launched the
Ghana Enterprises Agency (formerly NBSSI), the National Micro,
Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) and
Entrepreneurship Policy, and the GEA Grant Support for SMEs.
This fall under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project,
which is backed by the World Bank.
Performing the launch on Wednesday, 9th June 2021, at
the Kempinski Hotel, in Accra, the President described the event
as “a happy day for our nation’s micro, small
and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs)”.
He indicated that the National Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
and Entrepreneurship Policy is the first of its kind in Ghana.
He added: “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, to enable them to contribute
meaningfully towards the development of the country”.
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President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that the
Ghana Enterprises Agency has been prescribed by the
National MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy to implement the Policy.
“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,” he said.
The President continued, “The policy direction is to reduce,
if not eliminate, the duplication of efforts currently being
witnessed in the MSME sector, ensure the judicious use
of resources, implement programmes to formalize and support
the informal sector, and design interventions
to support MSMEs in the country”.
To this end, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the
GEA SME Grant Fund has been established to support SMEs
to recover from the effects of COVID-19, and also help them
to resuscitate their operations under the
Ghana Economic Transformation Project.
Disbursement of this grant, amounting to one hundred and
GH¢145 million, he stressed, will be made to 250 to 350 SMEs
to help them grow into sustainable businesses, capable of
competing on the regional, continental and global stages.
Support to MSMEs
In his speech, Akufo-Addo indicated that he came into office,
in 2017, with the vision of transforming the structure of our
economy, from one characterized by being mere producers
and exporters of raw materials, to a value-added, industrialized one,
which 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,” he said.
That is why, at the height of the pandemic in Ghana,
the President noted that Government announced and
implemented the Coronavirus Alleviation
Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS).
“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 business, in order to help sustain them,
and help keep staff on the payroll,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Government further partnered
with the Mastercard Foundation, again through NBSSI, to advance
to MSMEs an additional amount of ninety million cedis (GH¢90 million),
as part of the NBSSI/Mastercard Foundation Covid-19 Recovery
and Resilience Programme, also referred to as the nkɔsuo programme
for MSMEs, in line with Government’s priority to achieve
economic transformation, COVID-19 notwithstanding.”
To date, he stated that some three hundred thousand (300,000)
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. Government is working systematically
to ensure that we find more solutions to support
entrepreneurs and their MSMEs to fuel their growth.
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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,” the President said.