Two hundred and twenty-six Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) have been able to go through the process of successfully acquiring product certification from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) or the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with help from the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) formerly National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Project.
Others have also received support for sole proprietorship registration with Registrar General’s Department at a low cost or free of charge.
The support provided includes; Financial support to obtain FDA registration for one product per business under the Progressive Licensing Scheme; Training on branding and packaging; Training on FDA requirements and processes.
This was entailed in a report dubbed; Regulatory Support Facilitator; The Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Business Formalization Project. According to the report cited by the paper in April 2021, the Business Formalization Project is ongoing and with a target of 500 MSMEs, the project consultants believe the numbers will swell with time.
Commenting of the report the Executive Director for the GEA, Kossi Yankey-Ayeh said: “The need to improve the activities or products of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) has come to the front burner. Partly deriving from the presence of Africa Continental Free Trade (AfCTA), we want to position SMEs and their products to be able to compete with products from other African Countries.
Doing this Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Certification is needed to give the public an assurance that the products are of good quality and meets approved standards. Once this standardization or formalization is completed, the positive externalities are numerous.
The product assumes the required credibility to be displayed in short. The producer can now confidently display and sell to a wider market. And, I am convinced that is what the industry wants. We have exceeded a target of 500 for the first year.”
She added that, “In the coming years, we are going to make it a cardinal duty at the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA). Currently, we have a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Progressive Licensing with the FDA. We will look at enhancing it and create a more conducive registration and formalization regime for SMEs in Ghana.”
Eligible businesses that qualify for the project are Ghanaian owned MSME’s in the following sectors; Agric and Agro-processing, Food and beverages, Manufacturing (cosmetics and household chemicals) and Pharmaceuticals.