Build SME's capacity for efficiency – Government
A three-year pilot project has been launched by government to improve the efficiency and performance of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the Ashanti Region.
The project, led by National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) with financial support from the Japanese government, involves training and improving the technical, financial and customer service skills of business operators.
The Trade and Industry Minister, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu announced this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the 1st Ashanti Business and Investment Fair at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi. He urged the SMEs to take advantage of the project to strengthen and improve their operations.
The Fair, organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) in conjunction with BIA Conferences from May 15-18th, was themed: “Promoting Trade and Investment Through Effective Business Networking”. It brought together businesses from within the region to interact, network and share ideas.
Hon. Iddrisu said his Ministry was also in the process of developing serviced industrial zones nationwide to provide a platform for businesses to grow. He reiterated government’s determination to create the right investment climate to sustain business growth and development.
The Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Samuel Sarpong noted that, despite its strong history of entrepreneurship, the region was not attracting business investments as expected. He cited the processing activities at Soboba, the metal fabrication and engineering at Suame magazine, wood carving at Atonsu, kente weaving at Bonwire, palm oil processing at Anwiankwanta as some of the business opportunities available for expansion in the region aside from tourism and opportunities in the service industry.
Mr Sarpong said the region is strategically located for business, commerce, tourism and culture adding: “…the fact that it is the most populous region in the country makes it a hub for businesses of all types”. He, therefore, welcomed the organisation of such fairs to brainstorm on how to make Ashanti a preferred destination for local and foreign investors.
Mr Sarpong said the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), through its Kumasi City Project, was working with the Earth Institute, under the Millennium Cities Initiative, to implement a number of activities to create a more business-friendly environment.
These include publication of an updated investors’ guide for Kumasi, setting up of the Kumasi City Investment Promotion Unit at the KMA, establishment of an investment technical committee and the development of a dedicated website for the promotion of investment opportunities in and around the city.
Mr Sarpong said Kumasi was positioning itself well and providing a serene atmosphere for entrepreneurs to plan and act purposefully.
Mrs Edith Dankwa, Chief Executive Officer of the B&FT, said the Fair would help unearth investment opportunities, which abound in the region, but had largely not been explored.