Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, said critical public-private sector investments in infrastructure over the medium-term will be key to increase the manufacturing capacity of the economy post-COVID-19.
She said the country needed to re-tool and re-equip the MSMEs sector to leverage technology for more innovation and to increase access to finance for MSMEs.
Mrs Awadzi, was speaking at Engine Business Network’s (EBN) Micro, Small, and Medium sized Enterprises (MSME) virtual conference on the theme: “MSME manufacturing capabilities, responding to covid-19 and opportunities beyond,” in Accra.
The virtual conference is to commemorate the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day by the United Nations Assembly to improve small business development.
The goal is to encourage member states to facilitate observance of the day by increasing awareness and actions to support small business.
The conference is to build on the ongoing efforts and conversation on the COVID-19 Pandemic and realization that humanity would have to live with the virus for a while.
The EBN nurtures a network of over 500 MSMEs across Ghana with special interest in youth employment and women economic empowerment.
It is in the forefront of enhancing the development of African entrepreneurs through capacity building, partnerships and advocacy.
She said as a country, there was the need for a renewed focus on equitable and inclusive growth to ensure that the MSME sector, and in particular, women and youth entrepreneurs were not left behind.
She said the Bank of Ghana had taken steps to improve access to credit for MSMEs through the banks, savings and loans companies, microfinance companies, and rural and community banks.
The Second Deputy Governor encouraged all the Network members to approach their financial institutions to explore financing and other opportunities available for MSMEs and in particular for youth and women entrepreneurs.
Mrs Awadzi said in addition to financial services, a number of the financial institutions were increasingly providing technical, entrepreneurial, and market access support to MSMEs to help make their businesses more viable.
“I encourage you also to engage actively with the Ghana Association of Bankers, and industry Associations representing the savings and loans companies, microfinance companies, and rural and community banks, to help the institutions to understand the needs of members and to fashion out specific products and services to support you,” she added.
She said the Central Bank was committed to ensuring that policies and regulatory measures helped to promote macroeconomic stability and growth, not only for a few, but for all Ghanaians.
She said by promoting monetary and financial stability, “we seek to create an enabling environment that supports all economic players to contribute their fair share to socio-economic development and nation-building.”
She said the Bank of Ghana recently launched the Ghana Sustainable Banking Principles in partnership with the Ghana Association of Bankers and the Environmental Protection Agency.
These are a set of seven principles adopted by banks in Ghana in November 2019, by which they commit to scaling up lending to five key sectors of the economy in a manner that promotes good environmental management practices and social justice including; through gender equity and access to finance for all.
Mrs Awadzi said while the impact of COVID 19 on the sectors was severe, there was much hope with the recovery ahead, and there were enormous opportunities in the post-COVID world.
“What is more, policymakers have made interventions to help cushion the impact of the pandemic on the MSME sector,” she said.
The Second Deputy Governor said the financial sector was well-positioned to continue to support the MSME sector, while efforts continued to be made to expand access to innovative financial services and products for all.