The country’s ability to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and meet the climate action commitments is heavily dependent on the strength and health of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs,) the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said.
He said MSMEs employed more than 80 per cent of the workforce and generate about 70 of the national output.
Opening the Virtual 2022 Accra SDGs Investment Fair in Accra, Mr Ofori-Atta, said the government would support the development of sustainable MSMEs and the transition of existing MSMEs to more sustainable business models.
“The Accra SDGs Investment Fair is one of the ways we seek to do this,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta said, the circumstances of the last three years had highlighted how critically interdependent “we are as a world.”
“While we have always had a certain sense of this interdependence as globalisation evolved; the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, with their subsequent rippling effects across sectors and international borders drove home this reality,” Mr Ofori-Atta, stated.
The Minister of Finance said with less than eight years to realise the 2030 Agenda, there was the need for the government to intensify its partnership with the private sector to redirect resources towards the areas of development which had far reaching impacts in the sense of touching more lives and over a much longer time scale.
“This means re-engaging the private sector about developing and investing in interventions that not only are economically and commercially viable, but even more critically those that are environmentally and socially transformational,” Mr Ofori-Atta, stated.
He said the relationship between a dying world and the human condition had already been highlighted by the extreme climate events which were recorded in 2021.
He said the 2021 data from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, indicated that 432 disastrous events related to natural hazards were recorded worldwide.
That, he said, accounted for 10,492 deaths, affected 101.8 million people and caused approximately $252.1 billion of economic losses.
Mr Ofori-Atta stressed that the YouStart Programme would be another avenue for promoting sustainable enterprises through skills development and investments into enterprises that are demonstrably sustainable.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE