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Citi Business Festival: Prioritise support for SMEs to ensure resilient growth – ABSA Bank

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The Head of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) at ABSA Bank, Audrey Abakah, has called on the government to prioritise support for the sector to ensure resilient growth in the sector.

Speaking at the Citi Business Festival SME Development Roundtable themed “Positioning Our SMEs For Resilient Growth,” Mrs Abakah highlighted the challenges SMEs face, including high interest rates and power irregularities.

She emphasised the crucial role SMEs play in Ghana’s economic growth including poverty alleviation and job creation.

She appealed to the government and key stakeholders to intervene with measures such as guarantees to enable banks to lend at cheaper rates, citing the need for support similar to that provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In terms of how the economy or the sector is fairing, to be honest with you, it’s tough for a lot of businesses. That’s why you’ll see GUTA coming out to aggressively oppose some of the new taxes the government is bringing up.“

The taxes on electricity, taxes on emissions and above all, look at the power irregularities. Businesses are struggling, if you don’t have the capacity to have an alternative power supply, then it means that your business will not perform as expected.

“It is tough, but there are challenges. This is why I think the key stakeholders in the SME ecosystem must pay attention to this sector.”

“If we believe that this sector is important and contributes to the economy’s growth and development in job creation, poverty alleviation and GDP contribution, in times like this, just like during covid there was government intervention, the government must come in and intervene, provide things like guarantees to enable banks to lend at a cheaper rate.

The Citi Business Festival 2024 is powered by 97.3 Citi FM and Channel One TV in partnership with Absa Bank and is sponsored by MTN Business, GIRSAL, AMG Fertilizer, Nsano Ltd and Agri-Impact Limited.

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