Dr Nana Owusu-Afari, the former President of the Association of Ghana Industries, has called for a broader policy framework to guide and improve the operations of informal businesses.
He said government recognition of the informal sector was low and stressed the need to formalise the sector to expand and spur economic development.
Dr Owusu-Afari made the call in Accra at the launch of his book titled “Growing the Ghanaian Informal and Small Businesses”.
He said priority must be given to the informal sector because all successful businesses have small beginnings before expanding and urged policy makers to involve the sector in decision making process.
The 165-page book provides a valuable insight about the role of the informal sector to national development.
The book has been divided into eight chapters, which include the characteristics of informal businesses in Ghana, the in-depth analysis of the sector, the contributions to the economy, government policies and challenges faced by the sector.
Recounting his experience as a businessman, the Author said he started from a humble beginning of rearing fowls at the backyard of his house before expanding it to a bigger level.
“I encountered challenges in the beginning, I had to sell my house to pay a debt”, he added
He stated that the informal businesses when harnessed would create the needed environment for youth employment in the country.
Dr Owusu-Afari commended government for establishing the Ministry of Business Development, urging authorities to focus on the informal sector to drive the needed economic development.
He pledged that the proceeds of the sale of the book would be used to institute a Research Fund for the informal business sector.
The Author urged the public to buy the book and contribute towards the Fund for the benefit of the section and the nation as well.
Dr Baffour Osei Hyeaman Brantuo VI, the Asantehene’s Manwerehene urged the public to develop the spirit of entrepreneurship since the government sector alone cannot absorb the youth for employment.
He stated that 75 per cent of the country’s revenue comes from taxation, urging government to restructure the informal sector to a viable entity to rake in more revenue.
Mr Alexander Kyei, a Consultant at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, commended the Author for mooting the idea to establish a research fund for the sector and assured government support to help drive the sector forward.
He said government would continue to have engagement with the private sector to holistically address the pitfalls in the informal sector.
The proceeds of the sale of the book amounted to GH¢150,000, exceeding the target of GH¢100,000.