Business News of 2014-05-24

Second phase of ILO SCORE Project launched

The second phase of the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (SCORE) project has been launched in Ghana to improve productivity and working conditions in small and medium enterprise (SMEs).

Launching the project, Madam Marie Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said the international market offer great opportunities for Ghanaians SMEs to export their products and create jobs at home.

She said to compete in international markets, SMEs need to continuously improve their productivity.

She noted that competitiveness and productivity, however, does not mean less social commitment, but on the contrary, higher productivity and better working conditions go hand in hand, adding that, to succeed, SMEs need a motivated, dedicated and skilled workforce.

According to her, such workforce can only develop in a climate of mutual respect between management and workers and where workers are provided with good working conditions that allow them to be productive.

As part of the launch, Madam Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, with a Swiss delegation, toured the Danadams Pharmaceutical Limited, one of the 39 SMEs that participated in the SCORE training programme between 2009 and 2013.

Mr. Antwi Bosiako, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations said the SCORE project demonstrates the best international practice in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to access global supply, adding that, it would promote the development of SMEs and support it to strengthen and enhance competitiveness and productivity.

He noted that one of the mandates of the Ministry is to protect the rights of workers, to motivate them to enhance productivity and to ensure that there is harmonious industrial relations in the country.

“This is in harmony with the objective of SCORE and could not have come at a better time. The issue of employment and productivity at workplaces is priority to government and the people of Ghana and any programme that seeks to create decent jobs and enhance the workforce and productivity must be embraced,” he said.

The Deputy Minister said the role played by SMEs in Ghana’s economy cannot be overemphasized, “SME’s account for about 90 per cent of all businesses and government will create an enabling environment, in collaboration with the appropriate local and foreign partners, including the SCORE project to address areas of critical importance on productivity and working conditions in SME’s.

Mr. Antwi Bosiako encouraged Ghanaian enterprises to join the SCORE programme to derive benefits from it as Danadams is doing.

Dr. Yaw Adu Gyamfi, Chief Executive Officer of Danadams Pharmaceutical Limited, highlighted the benefits his company derived from participating in the training.

He said it takes the efforts of both managers and workers for a company to succeed, adding that, through the SCORE project, employees from all parts and levels of the business have developed a new enthusiasm to improve the enterprise and increase productivity.

He said about 70 per cent of drugs in the country are from abroad, which does not encourage local businesses to grow, and called on Pharmaceutical owners to come together and establish bigger companies to be able to compete.

He said his company’s vision is to build a strong company that will create a healthy Africa, where all Africans have the opportunity to succeed.