AGI CEO, Seth Twum-Akwaboah

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) that makeup 80 per cent of the economy have built resilience over the years and are prepared to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

SMEs will have a huge role to play as the continental programme takes off. 

Vice President in charge of SMEs at AGI, Hamphey Dake, says the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) have supported the capacity building of the SMEs.

“It is quite exciting to see what government is doing regarding converting the NBSSI to an authority so as to leash out managerial support to SMEs.

“Generally the Ghanaian economy undoubtedly is about 80% of SMEs and there are essential products that are imported to this country by about 20% of the business entities that fall under some SMEs.”

“So some level of resilience is in the system. Now we need to prioritize the products that are being exposed to the AfCFTA,” he noted.

The association also wants the workability of all government programmes targeted at stimulating business growth, amid the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

The projects include the ¢2 billion Credit Guarantee Scheme for SMEs and the ¢100 billion Ghana Cares Programme.

Chief Executive, Seth Twum-Akwaboah these funds could help businesses to have access to credit to grow.

“Government has also pledged with a ¢2 billion facility; the guarantee facility. We are already deeply involved and we’re trying to see how we can our members access this facility.

“But then we need to prepare the companies for them to access it. Otherwise, the banks may not even give out that loan.”

“And, therefore, our role is important and that’s one area we’re hoping to help our members. So we will continue to engage government to ensure all other government support for the industry is done,” he added.

Meanwhile, AGI have expressed delight about the successful export of goods from two of its members, thus Ghandour Cosmetics and Kasapreko under the continental free trade agreement.

Speaking to JoyBusiness, Mr Twum-Akwaboah described it as the game changer for African industries to revive their operations post covid-19.

“Is our expectation regarding the implementation of AfCFTA, from all indications it’s going to be a game changer in the whole dynamic of things.

“So I think very well that going into 2021, with AfCFTA coming on board, Ghanaian businesses should take advantage of the opportunities that are going to be available.”

“We also have a bit of a threat because our market is going to be opened to imports from other parts of Africa. So it depends on how we will strategize and take full advantage of the thing,” he stated.