Govt to create modern productive economy

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mrs Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Deputy Trade and Industry Minister

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) is pursuing a new industrial policy designed to create a modern productive economy, with high levels of value-addition, expanded productive employment and technological capacity in the manufacturing sector.

The policy also seeks to transform agriculture through agro-based industrial development among others.

It is in line with the country’s long-term vision which sets out to achieve a consistently higher level of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and job creation, through increased domestic production and international trade.

A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mrs Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, said this at the maiden meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of the Enterprise Development Project with KAIZEN (EDPK) in Accra.

The five-year project is being implemented by JICA and GEA with a core focus of providing technical support, developing and implementing a Business Development Service Model, partnering financial institutions to improve access to finance for MSMEs and enhancing the quality of start-up support.

The project follows the successful implementation of the Kaizen Project by NBSSI (now GEA) and JICA in Ashanti and Greater-Accra regions.

The KAIZEN Project made a huge impact on beneficiary enterprises in these regions, as MSMEs experienced an increase in the quality of their products, increased turnover as well as productivity of their employees.

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MSMEs must be innovative

Mrs Asiamah-Adjei said there was the need for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operators to be innovative and strive to manufacture quality products to remain competitive.

“The development of MSMEs requires an integrated approach and as such I urge all key actors in the sector to assist with implementing innovative policies and programmes that address the major constraints facing MSMEs in the Country,” she said.

She added that there was always room for innovation, improved performance and opportunities for increased productivity no matter how well a business was run.

"The availability and access to Business Development Service Providers (public and private) is essential for MSMEs to learn and acquire new skills regarding marketing, operations, financial management, resourcing, technology and innovation."

"My ministry is still in support and, therefore, keeping an eye on the GEA’s intention to replicate KAIZEN methodology in five more regions in the country, namely Eastern, Western, Volta, Upper East and West."

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National KAIZEN Project

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the second phase of the National KAIZEN Project, which ended in 2018, saw 51 staff trained and over 450 enterprises and an average of 4,500 workers in those enterprises benefit from the KAIZEN Project.

She said the current project, the Enterprise Development Project with KAIZEN, was designed out of the commitment of JICA and MOTI, to strengthen and enhance the business development services to MSMEs.

She said the project aimed at not only enhancing the GEA’s capacity to provide BDS for MSMEs but improving and building upon the quality of business development services to MSMEs in the country.

"It is our expectation that the database will have an evaluation and certification system of BDSPs. This will ensure that we provide our MSMEs with a certain standard of business development support," she stated.

JICA partner govt

The Chief Representative of JICA Ghana, Mr Araki Yasumichi, said JICA had been working together with the government and partner agencies to encourage the private sector since the first project for MSMEs in 2005.

He said despite the pandemic and initial difficulties, the project had implemented designed activities towards the three outputs of financial management and marketing training for Business Advisory Centres in the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions.

“We will ensure a full implementation of the partnership model with financial institutions to improve access to finance for enterprises and support to start-ups through the NINJA business competition and the recently launched NINJA Lean programme.”