Business News of 2014-04-16

Ghana counting on ILO’s support to promote SMEs

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, says Ghana will continue to count on the support of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

He said SMEs provided avenues for public and private partnerships and must, therefore, be given the needed assistance.

“Government will continue to facilitate the work of SMEs by providing the enabling environment, in collaboration with the appropriate agencies such as the National Board for Small-Scale Industries, the Ghana Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Ghana Industries and the Private Enterprise Foundation,” the minister stated.

Nii Armah Ashietey said this in a statement at the 320th session of the Governing Body of ILO in Geneva on the theme: “Area of Critical Importance on Productivity and Working Conditions in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.” The minister noted that SMEs played an important role in Ghana’s economy, accounting for about 90 per cent of all businesses.

He added that low productivity caused by factors such as the absence of decent workplace facilities, inadequate occupational safety and health facilities, low compensation, inadequate social protection, low level of education, lack of funding and difficulties in accessing global value chains, among others, reduces the efficiency of SMEs and their ability to create adequate jobs.

It was against this backdrop that Ghana found the ILO SCORE project very important and relevant to addressing the issue of productivity in SMEs, the minister noted.

Established in response to the 2007 ILO conclusions, and a cornerstone of ILO’s strategy to promote workplace cooperation, decent work, sustainability, productivity and competitiveness in SMEs, the SCORE project in Ghana has proved to be a viable approach to addressing some of the challenges confronting SMEs.

The Ghana SCORE project is targeted at SMEs in the manufacturing sector of the Accra-Tema metropolitan area. It was launched in 2010 and executed in collaboration with the National Tripartite Advisory Committee, a number of national organisations, as well as stakeholders.

The minister also mentioned that given the 86 per cent success achieved by the project, the ILO and its partners must replicate SCORE in other parts of the country.

He also said Ghana was pleased to be part of the ILOs exploratory work on capacity building strategy for workers to enable them to gather evidence and contribute to policy making.

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