SMEs urged to strive for quality

Mr. Dawarnoba Baeka, Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), has urged the Small and Medium sized business owners to be innovative and strive to manufacture quality products that will meet international standards.

Speaking at a one-day forum in Tamale, he noted that promotion of the SME sector is crucial to attaining the country’s socio-economic development.

“They are a good instrument through which we can reduce poverty and bring about improved standards of living, particularly in the rural areas,” he said.
Small and Medium Enterprises, he said, are unable to capture market opportunities which require large production quantities due to the lack of technical and managerial skills, lack of financing and the low application of technology, among others.

The ministry, he said, is pursuing programmes to boost the growth, productivity and employment potentials of the manufacturing sector in the country.

The forum, which was on the theme “Promoting Enterprise Productivity and Product Quality through Kaizen in Ghana”, was aimed at introducing to Micro Scale and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and other stakeholders the NBSSI/JICA Business Development Services (BDS), and the need to expand the project nationwide.

The NBSSI/JICA project is a three-year pilot project that started in April 2012 and was financed by the government of Japan and Ghana to sustainably develop capacity for the Business Advisory Centres (BACs) of the NBSSI in Ashanti.

Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf reiterated government support to the MSMEs sector to help accelerate the realisation of growth, productivity and employment potentials of Ghana’s manufacturing sector.

He stressed that the unemployment rate in the country is also a result of inability to support the MSMEs, thereby deterring the youth from venturing into them.

He urged the educational institutions to add entrepreneurial programmes to their curricular to help graduates who can establish their businesses after school without waiting for white-collar jobs.

He also appealed to the traditional leaders to make available resources that will help boost businesses in their localities.

Mr. Lukman Abdul-Rahim, Executive Director, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), said the development of micro and small scale enterprises requires an integrated approach, which called for actors in the sector to devise various means of tackling and addressing constraints facing them.

According to the Director, the project was to develop and strengthen the overall capacity of NBSSI officers in the Ashanti Region to deliver quality business development services (BDS) to MSMEs.

He explained that the project is coming to an end and that the NBSSI is intending to use lessons learnt from the pilot phase to expand activities ad cover the whole country, and requires the assistance of development partners such as JICA, Ghana government and other stakeholders.

He said such initiatives hold the key to building and sustaining a strong economy, and that NBSSI as the national focal-point institution for promoting and development of MSMEs will continue to seek and foster partnerships, both locally and internationally, to promote a growth-oriented and competitive MSMEs sector.

He commended JICA for the funds to build the capacity of NBSSI staff in the provision of quality business development services for the MSMEs.

Dr. Ryoichi Ozawa, Chief Advisor of JICA said NBSSI/JICA BDS project had implemented the Kaizen through “On the Job Training (OJT)” activities in some enterprises in the Ashanti Region, which eleven Business Advisory Committee (BAC) heads and some Japanese experts offered the technical support.

He said the 11 BAC heads in the Ashanti Region have been trained to provide consultancy to the SMEs and assured of the Japanese government’s continued support to ensure economic growth.

source : B&FT