Business News of 2013-12-10

SDF to continue support of SMEs to boost economy - Matthew Dally

The Project Coordinator of the Skills Development Fund (SDF), Mr. Matthew Dally, has reiterated the fund's commitment to continue to support small and medium enterprises to boost the economy.
Mr. Matthew Dally intimated that, the private sector, being an engine of growth of every economy, government will not relent on its effort in ensuring they are well equipped both financially and technologically.
He made the pledge during the launch of a 2 day skills and technology fair which was organized by skills and technology fund and supported by the council for technical and vocational education and training (COTVET) under the Ministry of Education with funding from Danida and the World Bank.
The Project Coordinator said the skills development fund has since 2011 approved about Ghc39 million worth of grants to 193 Ghanaian firms in support of innovate skills and technology development initiatives in the private sector, and promote dialogue between research, technology developers and industry.
Mr. Mathew Dally, Project Coordinator and Head of the COTVET Project Support Unit said the fund was committed to the realization of government's agenda to find a long lasting solution to the problem of irrelevant curriculum in the country's training institutions.
He said since 2011, the fund had supported skills upgrading of employees for improvement in productivity, upgraded the skills of master craft persons and self-employed graduate apprentices.
He noted that the success of any fund, like the SDF, depended on public confidence in its neutrality, objectivity, fairness and transparency, which manifested through the increased number of applications to the fund.
He said over 200 applications had been approved with over Ghc11million disbursed, and commended the steering committee for entering the successful implementation for the fund.
Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Minister of Education, who was the special guest appealed to graduates to start their own businesses regardless of how small they may be.
She urged graduates to take advantage of the fund rather than focusing on white color jobs.
According to her, the fund, which was a key development component of government, was demand-driven, and such must be tailored to respond to the challenges, as well as bridge the gap between the academia and research institutions.
She commended the SDF for the effective management of the fund and called for strict adherence to disbursement rules to ensure that others benefit in order to expand their horizon.
The Minister called on young entrepreneurs and graduates to take advantage of the SDF's offer and apply to the fund for directives.
The fair attracted participants from academia, heads of technical and vocational training institutions across the country and the media.
An exhibition was also mounted by participating companies to showcase the products and success stories of the participants who are beneficiaries of the fund.
Participating companies included Ghana Telecom University, Mushroom Growers Association, Progressive Electronic Technicians, Ghana Rice Inter Professional Body, Association of Road Contractors, Beekeepers Association and Soap Makers Association.
The rests are the Brong Ahafo Moringa farmers Association, the Ejisu-GARMENTS Export Limited and the International Network for Bamboo and Ratan.
Mr. Peter Dovas, the World Bank representative, commended the technology aspect implemented by SDF towards addressing the demand and supply needs of the country.