The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Campaign for Female Education-Ghana (CAMFED-Ghana) to help women-led businesses and young entrepreneurs duly register their products.
The MoU is also to fulfill the needed regulatory requirements as mandated by the Public Health Act 851 (2012) through FDA’s Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS).
This collaborative effort between the two organizations stems from the Authority’s poise to facilitate the growth and success of local industries in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the government. The collaboration is also to foster CAMFED’s mandate to compliment government’s effort at prioritizing female education and development as young entrepreneurs.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a significant role in the development of economies especially in Ghana because they constitute about 92% of businesses and account for about 85% of manufacturing employment.
She highlighted some initiatives introduced by the FDA to support MSMEs sighting the Progressive Licensing Scheme (PLS) as one of the flagship programmes of the Authority.
Delese Darko noted that the PLS offers targeted businesses a staggered approach to reaching full regulatory compliance. This means companies are on boarded after meeting basic requirements and would be given support to gradually obtain the needed skills to produce high-quality products that can effectively compete with similar imported products on the Ghanaian market and to be competitive in the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
She explained further that “The PLS three-staged color code certification mechanism aims at supporting Cottage and Small-scale businesses to grow without compromising on standards. Supporting small-scale businesses obtain the required certification is a proof that products meet the required health, safety and hygienic standards of the international markets and major retail shops in the country. ”
The scheme, since its inception in July, 2020 licensed 1,034 facilities and registered 1,427 products made up of food and cosmetics with the aim of generating employment, income and flourish businesses. The goal of the PLS is to have major grocery shops and supermarkets retailing at least 60 percent of made in Ghana food and cosmetic products.
“It is therefore our firm belief that through such collaborative initiatives, the FDA would be able to partner relevant institutions to ensure that women-led businesses and young entrepreneurs are properly trained to adhere to good manufacturing practices. This is to bring them into compliance while providing them with the support to grow their businesses and safeguard public health and safety”, she added.
On her part, the National Director of CAMFED, Sally Yeboah Ofori noted that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) play a major role in most economies, particularly in developing countries.
The World Bank reports that they represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide.
“In Ghana this statistic is even more significant because the 2020 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs revealed that 36.5% of businesses in Ghana are owned by women, ranking us third among 58 economies assessed. To this end, it is worthy to note that, nine out of ten local industries under the purview of the FDA are MSMEs operated by women and young entrepreneurs in the food, cosmetics or household chemicals sector”, said Sally Yeboah Ofori.
She commended the FDA for continuously demonstrating their commitment to supporting government’s industrialization agenda by introducing several innovations, including the Progressive Licensing Scheme and the Kayayeei to Entrepreneur initiative.
She explained that “The Kayayeei Entrepreneur Initiative targets female head porters operating in open market spaces and equips them to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations. Over several months of engagement with these enthusiastic young women, twenty products have successfully been registered so far. These products range from cosmetics to household chemical substances.
The areas for collaboration between the FDA and CAMFED that was established by the signing of this MoU include, providing training and technical support, processing applications, and granting market authorization to the clients of CAMFED.