The Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Dr. Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku, has stated that he will compel major players in the financial sector to come up with policies that would make borrowing to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) much better, to support their businesses.
He was speaking at the opening of the maiden edition of the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SME) Fair held in Accra, under the theme ‘SME Financing in Ghana — Enhancing Access and Reducing Costs”, which was organised by the Ministry in charge of Private Sector Development and PPP.
The Governor continued that government-borrowing rates in the local market should continue to decline, which, according to him, would increase the lending rates to SMEs in the country. He disclosed that BoG would inject US$100 million into the agric sector to reduce the high risk associated with agro business, which prevents banks from lending to players in the agro sector. According to him, the funding would help reduce the high importation of food items into the country.
Continuing, the BoG Governor explained, “This is a policy called ‘Ghana Agro Base Rich Sharing’, which was borrowed from Nigeria, where the Central Bank lends to players in the agric sector. The new policy would ensure technical assistance, insurance, foreign exchange, reduction in poverty, increase in exports and also digital financing.”
The Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, appealed to the youth to rise above the current challenges and create opportunities for themselves. According to him, as stakeholders try to stabilise the micro economy, there would be challenges, but the youth should exercise restraint and shake off bemoaning and grumbling, to enable them rise above the challenges, and the idea of holding the SME Financing Fair was conceived at the highest level of government, which depicts its commitment towards transforming the economy and changing lives.
Dr. Botchwey continued that SMEs and informal enterprises contribute over 60% of Ghana’s GDP, and over 70% of total employment in low-income countries. He also urged the youth to engage themselves more in small and medium enterprises to help curb youth unemployment.