SMEs’ contribution to GDP invaluable

Charlotte Lily Baidoo

The Chief Executive Officer of Women’s World Banking Ghana (WWGB), Charlotte Lily Baidoo, has observed that SMEs remain the major avenue of employment and can absorb a chunk of the unemployed youth if supported.

Ms. Charlotte made the observation in her presentation on the topic ‘The role of SMEs in building Ghana beyond Aid’ at the Institute of Chartered Economists of Ghana’s maiden economic governance conference.

She observed that SMEs are increasingly being recognised as productive drivers of economic growth and development worldwide, and particularly in Africa.

“SMEs are believed to contribute about 70 percent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and account for 92 percent of businesses in Ghana.

“Hence, the importance of SMEs and the critical role they play in the economy of our nation cannot be underestimated,” she said.

“With employment in the public sector dwindling due to huge pressure on government finances coupled with exponential growth in the national population – with its attendant increase in graduate unemployment, the SME sector presents glorious opportunities to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate,” she said.

The event, held under the theme ‘Building a Ghana beyond Aid through the Private Sector; Key for inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development’, brought together highly experienced private business persons and economists who deliberated on the topic and gave suggestions.

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The Institute of Chartered Economists of Ghana, ICEG, is a professional body established in November 2007 with the pioneering statutory right to regulate the practice of economics in Ghana and create a unified body with which economics professionals could identify themselves.

Gideon Odoba Amissah, CEO of ICEG, said in his welcome address that for the private sector to thrive, the public sector will have to create the necessary environment.

“The private sector is not just the engine of growth but also the heart and brain of an economic system,” he said.

“Although macroeconomic indicators were fairly positive in 2017, some socioeconomic indicators such as Corruption Perception Index (CPI), ease of doing business, governance and economic freedom reports were not encouraging to a large extent,” he said.

The event also witnessed the induction of nine new members, and two others were awarded with certificates as fellows.

Other speakers at the event included Samuel Bright-Kaitoo, CEO of Galaxy Capital; Emmanuel Adu-Sarkodie, Group CEO of CDH Financial Holdings; and Kenneth Ashigbey, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications.

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