ILO Aligns SCORE Training with Ghana Enterprises Agency’s (GEA) Kaizen Programme

The International Labour Organization (ILO) aligns its SCORE programme with the interventions of Ghana Enterprises Agency to have a coordinated delivery to SMEs and synergies.

Press release | 28 June 2021
ACCRA (ILO News): As part of its preparation to exit from SCORE and hand it over to Ghana’s Management, Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), the International Labour Organization (ILO) organized a partnership roundtable with the Ghana Enterprises Agency and other key stakeholders in Ghana to discuss areas of cooperation, synergies and aligning of interventions to support SMEs development. About 50 participants drawn from donor agencies, enterprises, ILO partners and other key stakeholders took part in the roundtable. Some of the institutions represented at the roundtable were Ghana Enterprises Agency, SCORE Global team, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Ghana Employers’ Association, Ghana Trades Union Congress, Implementing Partners of the SCORE Programme, beneficiary enterprises of SCORE, GEA, amongst others. 

Delivering the welcome address, the ILO Country Director, Mrs. Vanessa Phala congratulated the National Board for Small Scale Industries on its new status as the Ghana Enterprises Agency, with the mandate to lead the development of MSMEs in Ghana and pledged the ILO’s readiness to be a partner of its new agenda. According to the Director, a collaboration between the ILO and GEA has a number of benefits for both organisations and their clients including improved content and delivery of training programmes, sharing of knowledge and best practices in enterprise development, and sharing of resources to augment the training to SMEs.  Pooling of resources also implied the ability to extend interventions to larger target enterprises in Ghana and synergies of their efforts. Welcoming participants to the Roundtable, she expressed the hope that, the engagement would yield the expected results and serve as a precursor for a fruitful collaboration among the two organisations and their IPs.

In his address on behalf of the Ghana Employers Association, Mr. Kingsley Laar stated that, all the stakeholders had a common goal, which was effective operationalization and development of enterprises. In that vein, it was necessary to discuss partnerships for synergies and efficient resource utilization.

Mr. Michael Elkin, the ILO SCORE Global Programme Manager emphasized that, the extension of SCORE training to many enterprises could only happen when national partners take on the responsibility of SCORE. He therefore urged the stakeholders to make the collaboration successful.

In a statement delivered on his behalf, Mr. Heinz Kaufmann, the Head of Mission of SECO stated that, the SCORE Programme was a product of Switzerland’s commitment to promoting productivity, competitiveness and decent work in emerging economies. Since 2011, through collaboration with the ILO, the Government of Norway and Switzerland have contributed to the creation of decent jobs as well as improve trade and competitiveness in Ghana. He applauded the ILO team for the timely organization of such an important meeting and encouraged all participants to continue to promote on-the-job training for workers and managers for businesses to improve quality and productivity and remain competitive in their respective markets.

In his address, the Ambassador of the Norwegian Embassy in Ghana, His Excellency Gunnar Andreas Holm stated that, MSMEs were the backbone of the economy and if we were seeking to grow the economy, then we had to focus on them. He commended the strides SCORE Ghana had made in improving productivity of SMEs.

In his presentation on behalf of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Anna Armo-Himbson, said that the GEA values strong partnerships towards SME development and commended the ILO for this initiative. According to her, MSMEs constitute 80% of the Ghanaian economy and contributes 70% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however, they are seriously challenged due to inadequate access to credit, information, technology and new markets, leaving them struggling to survive. The Ghana Enterprises Agency and the MSME Policy were launched on19 June 2021 after the passage of the GEA Act 2020; Act 1043 to lead the way in creating a dynamic MSME Ecosystem to help propel the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda. The quest for improving quality, productivity and resilience are being addressed through various collaborative interventions such as the Kaizen in collaboration with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), advancing GHS 90 million to MSMEs in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation for Covid-19 recovery, and Business Formalization through progressive licensing scheme introduced by Food and Drug Authority.
The Guest Speaker for the day, Hon. Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations delivered a brief address.  Having acknowledged SECO and NORAD for their funding and technical support, he mentioned Ghana as one of the few countries that have enjoyed three phases of the SCORE Programme. He recounted the support of SECO and NORAD even in the pensions sector to build capacity of the Pensions Regulatory Authority. He noted the great efforts embarked by the Ghana Enterprises Agency and called on them to work closely also with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relation, so that employment related activities could be reported by the Ministry.

In his remarks, the chair of the occasion and the Director-General of the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), Mr Kweku Odame-Takyi encouraged participants to work together to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and to reorganize to kick-start the economy once again. He called for further consultations and deliberations to firm up the areas of collaboration and synergies and strengthen the partnership to perform their roles and responsibilities.

Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) is a global ILO programme that seeks to improve productivity and working conditions in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The key intervention of the global programme is a training intervention that combines practical classroom sessions with in-factory consulting that demonstrates the best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.