Business News of 2014-05-27

Enterprises asked to embrace SCORE project

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Nii Ashietey Armah, has encouraged small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana to join the Sustainable, Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) project to improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace.According to him, the SCORE programme was tailor-made to reduce inefficiencies in SMEs and encourage best practices.

The SCORE is a practical training and in-factory consulting programme that improves productivity and working conditions in SMEs.

It is being funded by the Swiss and Norwegian governments at a cost of $1.7 million and implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The minister made the call in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Minister of the MELR, Mr Antwi-Boasiako Sekyere in Accra after a tour of the Danadams Pharmaceuticals Industry Limited.

The tour was also used to launch phase two of the project, which is subscribed to by Danadams Pharmaceuticals.

Better working conditions

Mr Ashietey said the core mandate of the ministry was in tune with the objectives of the SCORE project and pledged the government’s commitment to ensure better working conditions at workplaces.

“The issue of employment and productivity at the workplace is a 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.

SMEs and enabling environment

According to Nii Ashietey, the role played by SMEs in Ghana could not be overemphasised, saying, “SMEs account for about 90 per cent of all businesses.”

Improve productivity

The Swiss State Secretary of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Ms Marie Gabriele Ineichen-Fleisch, said SMEs in Ghana needed to improve on productivity and apply innovative modules to create jobs and access the international market.

She added that SMEs needed a motivated and dedicated skilled workforce to enable them to achieve their targets.

Inadequate funding

The Chief Executive Officer of Danadams Pharmaceuticals, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, said the procurement of locally manufactured drugs was low and bemoaned the high cost of production in Ghana.

He said inadequate government support for local pharmaceutical companies was a challenge to the growth of local industries and estimated that about 60 per cent of goods used in Ghana were imported.

According to him, donor funding stipulations made it difficult for SMEs to access capital for expansion and investment.

Making a case for the SCORE project, Dr Gyamfi said Danadams Pharmaceuticals had benefitted from the implementation of phase one of the project, saying “the project has improved efficiency and working relations in the company and we are looking forward to implementing the phase two”.