Accra, July 6, GNA - A Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Information Technology (INIIT) on Tuesday underscored the importance of research as a supportive tool to the development of the private sector.
Professor Clement Dzidonu, the Fellow, said despite this recognition, the efforts being made to undertake research work to enhance the private sector had not been sufficiently explored within the context of African countries.
Speaking at a meeting on "Promoting Private Development: The Role of Research" in Accra, Prof. Dzidonu advocated more attention to research aside various policy interventions and initiatives by governments.
The two-day meeting, to be attended by representatives from the western, eastern and southern African countries, would focus on the role of research in the development of the private sector with emphasis on the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
Sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the workshop would also explore issues related to the linkages between research and private sector development within the context of Ghana with the aim to draw up specific lessons that would be relevant to other African countries.
Prof. Dzidonu noted that in Africa SMEs constituted a major component of the private sector that employed a high proportion of the workforce and contributed substantially to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in areas like agriculture, services and industry.
"In Ghana for instance evidence shows that close to 80 per cent of the companies operating in the private sector are SMEs." Dr Gyeshika Agambila, Deputy Minister of Science and Environment, expressed the need for SMEs to adopt effective management practices as a strategy to develop their businesses.
He said considering the difficulties SMEs faced in accessing credit facilities, it would be prudent for them to desist from frivolous spending and invest to raise sufficient capital outlay to promote their businesses.
Dr Agambila related the development of the SMEs to the Evangelical International Church (EIC), which, he said, had made tremendous improvement and chalked great success in terms of development in the last 20 years.
He said the secret behind the success of the EICs aside their spiritual ramifications could also be attributed to effective management and the desire to expand to every nook and cranny of the countryside. "The Chief Executive Officers of EICs are highly motivated; so are the subordinates, associate pastors or managers as well as the cheerful ushers, who direct clients to safety." 6 July 05