Ghana government touts MSMEs as drivers of sustainable development

The government says the country’s effort to create sustainable employment and reduce environmental pollution will be dependent on the success of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

It said MSMEs, which employed more than 80 per cent of Ghana’s workforce and generated about 70 per cent of the national output, had the potential to accelerate Ghana’s effort to reduce unemployment and lower the emission of harmful gases into the environment.

Mr John Apratwum, Deputy Minister of Finance, at the 2022 Accra Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Investment Fair, said the government would double up efforts with the private sector to support MSMEs to achieve the agenda 2030.

Adopted by all United Nations (UN) Member States in 2015, Agenda 2030 is aimed at ending poverty in all its forms and saw collaborative partnership with businesses, including MSMEs as an important player in that regard.

Mr Kumah said with eight years to achieve Agenda 2030, the government was of the belief that achieving the SDGs and meeting the country’s climate action commitments was heavily dependent on the strength and health of MSMEs.

“It is imperative that we intensify our exploitation of those relationships, which have the potential to redirect resources towards the areas of development, which have far-reaching impacts – in the sense of touching more lives and over a much longer timescale,” he said.

The Minister, therefore, called on the private sector for a re-engagement about developing and investing in interventions that were economically and commercially viable, and more importantly, environmentally and socially transformational.

He said the government, through the establishment of the Article 6 Office, would develop a regulatory framework to bring together investors and project developers to engage in ventures that made the private sector.

That, he said, was to enable the private sector “earn additional revenue in the sale of credits generated via carbon emission reduction whilst helping government meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement.”

He was confident the YouStart entrepreneurship programme would be another avenue to promote sustainable enterprises through skills development and investments into enterprises that were demonstrably sustainable.

Dr Felix Addo-Yobo, Deputy Director, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advisory Unit at the Office of the President, said it was important to create robust “green enterprises,” especially MSMEs whose activities would help reduce regional disparities and create decent jobs.

He noted it was necessary for MSMEs to create new strategies to ensure that their activities reduced environmental footprints and created partnerships that would utilise diverse resources efficiently to reach the SDGs.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, called for increase in public and private investment to address climate change challenges.

He noted that opportunities for partnership were vast in areas like agriculture, energy, water and development of smart cities and asked MSMSs to collaborate with the government to capitalise on opportunities provided by the SDG investor map.

Mr Grant said the government was promoting renewable energy by encouraging the use of clean stove cooking, reforestation under the Green Ghana initiative, and developing an electronic vehicle policy to help reduce carbon emissions.

With a score of 63.44 out of 100, the Sustainable Development Report, 2022, ranked Ghana 110 among the 193 United Nations Member States on the total progress towards achieving all 17 SDGs.

The Voluntary National Review (VNR) Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2019, noted that Ghana’s overall performance had been mixed.

Source: GNA

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