Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kyerematen, has called on African leaders to prioritise trade and industry as key to the development of the continent.

Alan Kyerematen urged the leadership of African countries and stakeholders to lean towards the trade sector as the missing piece in the jigsaw of the continent’s development agenda.

Speaking at the 13th World Trade Promotion Organisation Conference & Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, the Trade Minister cited examples of how small and medium scale businesses adopted measures to enable them to cope with challenges at the height of the COVID pandemic.

“On the economic front, small businesses, large companies and other organizations did not wait for the virus to disappear before they got back to work. On the contrary, with the support of technology, they opened up to new ideas to promote their businesses, try new business ideas and adapt to the new times.

“Everyone was motivated to dig into their creativity and innovation and make the best of the situation they found themselves in. I have been particularly amazed at the tenacity displayed by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Their boldness and courage to take on new business and ideas at the risk of potential failure has been simply amazing”, Mr. Kyeremanten said.

On the need for an immediate take-off in the economy, the Minister called for the immediate return to the trade and industry arena as a means of reviving various sectors of the economy for quick growth.

“If there was ever a time in the history of the world that nations around the globe require ‘bold solutions for resilience and recovery’ that time is now. Events of the past two years and indeed the last few months have been extraordinary in their devastating impact on social lives as well as on the global economy”, he said.

Mr. Kyerematen said the important role played by MSMEs in employing the majority of the world’s workforce made it imperative for them to be supported to ensure the success of their businesses.

He urged delegates at the conference, as owners of Trade Promotion Organisations to adopt innovative ways for the viability of MSMEs as means of tapping into the huge youthful population of the continent for development.