SMEs are crucial for Ghana's participation in the AfCFTA

16 August 2019 2 min. read
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Speaking at the Graphic Business/ Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting, PwC Ghana Partner Edward Gomado has reiterated the need to support the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in the country to reap benefits from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

As Ghana looks to occupy a more central role in the West African and overall African economy, the SME sector has long been touted as the key to this scenario. The government has been actively working towards enabling the SME sector, while the private sector has also been involved in these efforts.

The SME sector has responded well to this scenario, thriving in a new innovative and supportive environment. According to Gomado, this strong performance is an indication that greater investment needs to be made into supporting the sector, particularly in the context of the AfCFTA.

Gomado is a Partner and Director at Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC, and is also the Leader as the firm for Private Company Services in the West African Region. According to Gomado, export and import capacity are both crucial to extract potential from the AfCFTA, and SMEs had a crucial role to play in this regard.

SMEs are crucial for Ghana's participation in the AfCFTA

Exports and imports can only boom if firms in the country are internationally competitive. To ensure that businesses in the country develop speedily, the public and private sectors must both be involved to enable growth. Gomado spoke at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank breakfast meeting in Accra on August 6th.

“While we are looking to take advantage of the AfCFTA, companies in other countries are also looking to come in. How ready are we to equip our companies to be able to reach out there and compete? If we are talking about competition, how much does it cost a Ghanaian company to produce quality products and how competitive will the company be in terms of pricing if it decides to export? As a country, we need to do an analysis to find out what the major costs are for SMEs and how we can support them,” he said.

“If we want to be competitive as a country and we believe that the cost of power is significant to our SMEs, we should know that if we are able to help them reduce that cost, their overall cost of production reduces and they will be able to compete effectively against other companies from outside,” he added.

The emphasis being placed on the SME sector is primarily the result of the sector’s expansive position among the overall business composition in the country, as well as its substantial contribution to the GDP. Engaging these businesses and realising their potential could have unprecedented benefits for the country’s economy.