Some 4,311 business establishments and household firms are to benefit from business advisory services and capacity-building programmes to protect and transform their enterprises from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic while guaranteeing long term growth, post pandemic.
Set to take off by the close of 2020, the intervention, christened ‘Volunteer Credits’ and birthed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will see professional and businesses associations in the country assign member practitioners to all 4,311 businesses to impart practical skills to improve their businesses.
According to the UN agency, with multiple professional associations such as teachers, lawyers, bankers, accountants, communicators, marketers, engineers, information technologists among others, “members of these associations and individuals should consider earning ‘Volunteer Credits’ by taking actions that protect businesses and help them transform.”
Economic Advisor with the UNDP in Ghana, Dr Frederick Mugisha, said the Volunteer Credits could be redeemed at the time of renewal of membership or certificate of practice and where appropriate in hiring or promotions.
“With this effort, we can mobilize capacities and put them at the disposal of businesses and monitor their progress,” he noted.
“It is important to note that, many professional associations have pro-bono services and members require a certain number of hours to renew their licenses for example. It has now become critical to achieve this at a large scale so that micro, small, medium and large businesses can be protected and transformed,” Dr Mugisha stated.
The initiative is being pursued with the World Bank, the Ghana Statistical Service and other partners as collaborators.
In the broader sense, UN agency maintains that the move is a transformative effort that could help businesses across the world, and most importantly, “the Volunteer Credits can help in this decade of action for the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Part of UNDP’s role is to help businesses and government come together at table and begin to think about how to transform policies so that they are helpful to them,” the Economic Advisor stated.
With efforts underway to dialogue with the professional and business associations, the UNDP was confident that the capacity and ability of businesses to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and build back stronger would be achieved.
General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Mr Solomon Kotei acknowledged that training was a constant factor in the success and definition of the visions and policies of every institution.
He stressed, “no one can downgrade training and think success will come.”
The ICU Boss noted that even though training programmes in Ghana had not been given much attention, there was still more to do with improving infrastructure.
He acknowledged that “training in Ghana is quite expensive as a result employers stay for about 3 years without organizing training sessions for their employees”
Mr Kotei urged workers who went for training workshops to return to their various outfits better than they left and impact their organisations positively and productively.