UNDP builds capacity of 30 women, youth-led MSMEs

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Ms Angela Lusigi - Resident Representative, UNDP in Ghana.
Ms Angela Lusigi - Resident Representative, UNDP in Ghana.

A two-day training programme initiated to build the competitiveness and capacity of women and youth-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has ended in Accra.

The capacity building training programme on strategic communications for MSMEs seeks to build small businesses to recover from the ravages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and leverage on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The training, organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from Global Media Alliance, benefited 30 selected women and youth-led MSMEs.

Support for MSMEs

Speaking at the training programme in Accra, the Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana, Ms Angela Lusigi, observed that the UNDP was keen to support MSMEs, especially women and youth-led entities to take advantage of opportunities under AfCFTA.

She said this year the UNDP sponsored a historic conference that brought over 2,000 young entrepreneurs from across Africa to Accra for the Youth Connekt Africa Summit.

She said the summit highlighted that MSMEs, especially those led by youth and women, had a key role to play in fulfilling the ambition of the AfCFTA agreement.

This, she said, was because MSMEs were the backbone of the Ghanaian economy - representing about 85 per cent of businesses and contributing about 70 per cent of Ghana's gross domestic product (GDP).

"Businesses like yours have an important role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

You are providing employment and decent work, fostering innovation and helping to reduce poverty and income inequalities," she said.

Ms Lusigi explained that taking action to position MSMEs for growth was an important prerequisite for the success of the single African Market, and as such UNDP was committed to work with its partners to ensure that was done.

"We have invested in strengthening the ecosystem by supporting MSME development in Ghana, building on the initiatives by the government, private sector and financial institutions.

"In order to support women and youth-led MSMEs to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and leverage on opportunities in the AfCFTA, the UNDP is currently carrying out market intelligence on investment opportunities, services and gaps related to support to MSMEs," she said.