Mr. Cletus Kosiba, Executive Director of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) needed supportive business environment to contribute meaningfully to growth and development of the economy.
“Small and Medium Enterprises are the backbone of every economy as they provide employment, drive exports and form vibrant industries the world over but that of Ghana, the SMEs are faced with numerous constraints and only few are thriving as a result,” he said.
Mr. Kosiba was addressing members of the AGI at a Regional Validation Workshop in Wa aimed to identify priorities and present a plan of action for a better business environment.
He said about 75 percent of industries in the country were made up of SMEs but that they hardly survive after the death of the owners and called for a deliberate policy to sustain them to contribute to the economy.
He said issues about SMEs should be taken seriously because they provided jobs and sustainable incomes for people across the country to reduce poverty.
Mr. Kosiba said the Upper West Region had not seen any major investments despite the incentives package given to investors by the government.
He attributed the refusal of investors from locating in the region to unfriendly environmental conditions and called on the government and regional authorities to examine those constraints and fashion out policies to help in the growth of SMEs to create jobs for the youth.
“We need to establish industries in the region to produce goods to compete favourably at the local and international levels,” he said, pointing out that there was the need for stakeholders and government to dialogue together to address the specific problems facing SMEs at the regional and district levels.
Mr. Kosiba called on entrepreneurs from the North to take advantage of the Savannah Accelerated Development Fund to expand their businesses, saying: "these opportunities would pass away if we fold our hands and sit down".
He urged the people to learn from the defunct Upper Region Agricultural Development Programme and the Farmers Services Company and to reap full benefits from the government pro-poor interventions in the North.