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June 30, 2022

Brief Remarks by the CEO of GEA at the National Launch of Business Resource Centers (BRCs) 27th June 2022

The Honourable Minister for Trade and Industry

The Honourable Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry

Rep. Minister for Trade and Industry and Finance

The National Programme Director, Rural Enterprise Programme (REP)

Board Chair of GEA, Present, and Past.

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GEA

Country Director IFAD

Our Development Partners (AfDB, IFAD)

Fellow CEOs

Management and Staff of REP

Management and Staff of GEA

All protocols observed

The Media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning to you all! Welcome.

I am delighted to be part of this event which marks the Official Launch of the Business Resources Centres, an Initiative under the IFAD/AFdB funded Rural Enterprises Programme under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, I wish to thank the organizers for allowing me to say a few words. I am indeed excited today for two (2) main reasons.

However, before I tell you the reasons for my excitement, it is important to express my sincere appreciation and profound gratitude to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo for his vision, the Sector Minister, Hon. John Alan Kyeremanteng for his leadership and direction and also, to our Development Partners (AfDB & IFAD) for believing in us and supporting us directly and indirectly through the Rural Enterprises Programme to build the Business Resources Centres/BRCs) amongst others.

The Business Resource Centres (BRCs) were designed and established by our mother Ministry, the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) to provide quality Business Development Services (BDS) at the district level to potential and existing entrepreneurs and enterprises on a sustainable basis. Also, they operate as financial and investment facilitation hubs and business information repositories for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

MSMEs, I believe you will agree with me that, the MSME sector is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. Of the estimated 2.1 million businesses in the Ghanaian. MSME Sector today, about 1.7 million can be classified as Micro Enterprises. These businesses employ roughly 2.5 million people (or 30% of all MSMEs employees), implying an average of 1-2 jobs created per Micro Enterprise. MSMEs also contribute over 75 percent of Ghana's GDP.

Ladies and Gentlemen, through our mandate of developing, growing, and strengthening MSMEs in Ghana, we have supported thousands of businesses across the country with one form of support or the other, (ie, regulatory support to access more markets, financial support, and/or technical assistance) through workshops, counseling, coaching, and mentoring as well as the deployment of technological or digital solutions to some of these businesses).

COVID as the adage goes, what does not kill you, strengthens you. In 2020, the world was hit by the worst pandemic in decades. This affected all aspects of human endeavor and businesses also had their toll. MSMEs suffered the most with many of them having to shut down due to the adverse effects of Covid-19. Interestingly. several other businesses survived due to quick adaptation. Moreso, with the intervention of GA through the support from the Government and other Development Partners (Mastercard Foundation, World Bank, GIZ, etc) many more businesses survived the Pandemic because they were rescued from total collapse, revitalized, and saved from huge numbers of job losses.

These interventions include:
1. Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBUSS).
2. COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program for MSMEs (NKOSUO Program)
3. GET Project: Covid-19 Response Grant; and
4. The SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme (SIDSS)

Honorable Minister, if you would permit me, let me share with the audience a few achievements of our interventions:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the BRCs are huge assets for GEA and this has come at an opportune time to support the work and mandate of GA to develop and grow MSMEs in the country. On behalf of GEA, I thank the Government once again, for this kind gesture. At the beginning of my remarks, I stated that I had two reasons why I am very excited today. The first reason is that the Government is handing over the BRCs to GEA to support our activities to develop the MSME Sector in Ghana. The other reason is that today 27th June 2022 is World MSME day, which is celebrated to raise public awareness of MSMEs' contribution to sustainable development and the global economy.

I would like to seize the opportunity to celebrate every single business in the world but particularly businesses in Ghana for their resilience and their hard work and for supporting the Government to create jobs for the youth, Businesses in Ghana still have the capacity to grow and create more employment opportunities for the youth and must position themselves to take advantage of opportunities around them and adopt technologies that will take their businesses to the next level.

Ladies and Gentlemen, together, let us work to effectively allocate our resources (both human and material) and leverage partnerships to lead efforts to improve the capacity and Support the growth and development of our Micro and Small Industries tor job and wealth creation.

Thank you for your attention.

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