Support informal businesses to leverage AfCFTA to grow – GEA

 The Ghana Employers’ As­sociation (GEA) has called on the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to support informal enterprises to leverage the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and facilitate tran­sition to formal businesses.

The President of GEA, Mr Daniel Acheampong, who made the call said the Ghanaian economy had suffered turbulence for the past years following the continuous spillovers from the COVID-19 challenges, geographical tensions and global policy uncertainties.

He indicated that, the support of the ILO would play a significant role in boosting trade and employ­ment in Ghana’s large informal economy.

Mr Acheampong made the call during a working visit of the Di­rector-General of ILO, Mr Gilbert F. Houngbo, to Ghana in Accra on Monday.

The visit was to enhance bilateral partnership between Ghana and the ILO for sustainable develop­ment.

He said most employers in the informal economy had little or no capacity in the laws that govern the AfCFTA and labour market.

In view of that, Mr Acheam­pong said the Association would commence capacity building and sensitisation programmes to equip its members in the informal economy concerning the AfCFTA provisions and the Ghanaian labour laws.

Mr Acheampong, among others, also called for promotion of sus­tainable enterprises and elimina­tion of violence and harassment at the workplace.

He said, currently Ghana did not have a standard national framework on Violence and Harassment (VH), adding in view of that, GEA with support from ACT/EMP had developed an Em­ployer’s Guide on VH to regulate the conduct of stakeholders at the workplace.

“As a follow up exercise, the Association intends to organise a sensitisation and training pro­gramme to build the capacity of employers and stakeholders on the provisions of the guide to enable them appreciate the issues of VH at the workplace as well as create support for ratification of Conven­tion 190 in Ghana,” he stated.

The Director-General of ILO, Mr Gilbert F. Houngbo, said ILO believed that the current fallout of the Ukraine, Russia war coupled with other global uncertainties had adversely affected the Ghanaian economy.

He commended GEA and gov­ernment of Ghana for the efforts put in place despite the economic challenges and underscored the need to strengthen social dialogue to build consensus on pertinent issues such as macroeconomic sta­bility, private sector development and decent job creation.

Mr Houngbo thus expressed ILO’s commitment to partnering with Ghana to ensure sustainable development.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEA, Mr Alex Frim­pong, expressed gratitude to ILO and its delegations for the visit and reiterated that the promotion of sustainable enterprises had been a major issue for the Association given the economic uncertainties facing Ghana and other developing countries.

He expressed optimism that, the ILO’s visit to Ghana would be a sustainable one to be able to use its international networks to bring some solutions to cushion busi­nesses in the country.


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