The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has charged Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across the country to ramp up sensitization amongst their workers and customers about the COVID-19 safety protocols.
This the AGI believes will add to efforts by government to curb the spread of the virus in Ghana and ultimately sustain demand for goods and services by the general public.
Between May and June of last year, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with UNDP and the World Bank, conducted the COVID-19 Business Tracker survey which revealed amongst other things that 35.7 percent of business establishments had to close down during the partial lockdown.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said it will take a holistic approach by all stakeholders including citizens to ensure the economy does not suffer from COVID-19.
“I think before I even go to what the government should do, at all levels we should all take some responsibility. At the individual level, at the company level, at the institutional level and then the government. Because the thing is no matter the measures government puts in place if people are recalcitrant if people are not abiding by the rules, if they are not going by the protocols it will not work. So we all need to be disciplined in the way we manage this.”
“At the company level, you know most of the companies, some of them are multinationals, some of them have their own internal policies, and they have even stricter policies than what the government is prescribing. So I know at those levels things are relatively well-structured. At the SME level we want them to also improve their systems and structures to ensure that their employees go by the protocols. We want to be sure that companies are also educating their staff and their customers about all these protocols that we need to go by,” he added.
AGI troubled with rising COVID-19 cases and implications on demand of goods
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says the business community is concerned about a possible slowdown in demand for their goods and services, if the disturbing situation with COVID-19 in the country is not managed effectively.
Between May and June of last year, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with UNDP and the World Bank, conducted the COVID-19 Business Tracker survey which revealed amongst other things that 35.7 percent of business establishments had to close during the partial lockdown, with 16.1 percent continuing to be closed after the easing of the lockdown.
Speaking to Citi Business News about the current situation, the CEO of the AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said all steps must be taken to halt a spike in active COVID-19 cases in the country.
“We are deeply concerned about what is going on. Because if you recall last year when we had the lockdown, it really affected businesses. And therefore when we had a bit of improvement getting to the end of the year we were really happy about that as we thought things were coming back to normal.”
“And therefore starting the year and hearing these case increases, it it of concern to us, because if it continues like this it means there is a possibility for another lockdown and even if there is no lockdown, people become so careful and the kind of events and activities that generate the demand will not be there thereby affecting the patronage of the goods and services our members are producing.”