Adopt policies to address fast-growing informal businesses – Former AGI President

Dr Nana Owusu-Afari, a former President of AGI has urged government to urgently adopt policies that can help to address the fast-increasing growth of informal businesses.

He said the early government adopts policies that can help the sector positively, the better it will be for the growth and development of a nation.

Dr. Owusu-Afari made this call at the launch of his book titled, ‘Growing the Ghanaian Informal and Small Businesses’.

Currently studies show that the informal businesses are increasing at a faster growth rate compared to formal businesses.

With the explosion in youth population growth resulting from the annual increases in graduates coming from    Ghana’s vocational, technical and tertiary institutions; Dr. Owusu-Afari stated that the informal businesses have become the main guaranteed source of employment generation for the majority of these youth.

The informal sector businesses currently employ over 80 percent of the economically active working population; however, it appears not to be operating under any coordinated policy framework.

“We therefore need to put in place a framework of legal and institutional polices that would guide the operators of informal businesses,” he suggested.

Since the informal sector is  critical as far as employment creation is concerned, Dr. Owusu-Afari said it is imperative that the Ministry of Business Development expands its activities towards the development of this crucial sector, spearheading the enactment of legislations to guide and help develop informal businesses and SME’s.

The Book

The 165-page book provides  valuable insights about the role of the informal sector to national development.

The book attempts to explain in a single publication the advantages that Ghana stands to gain if the huge informal sector businesses are given sufficient recognition and support by government policy initiatives.

The book is divided into eight chapters, which include the characteristics of informal businesses in Ghana, an in-depth analysis of the sector, the contributions to the economy, government policies and challenges faced by the sector.

The net proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the AGI to institute a research fund in order to continue to undertake research in support of the informal sector.

The proceeds of the sale of the book amounted to GHS150,000, exceeding the target of GHS100,000.

By Joshua W. Amlanu