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Dev’t Story: Why the Low Adoption of ICT Tools Among SMEs in Ghana

SME Tailor

Accra, Ghana, March 5, 2019//-Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in Ghana are yet to take the advantage of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve their bottom lines.

Reasons

One of the reasons experts ascribed to this is the high appetite for using the traditional tools to achieve growth and development at the time when ICT tools for SMEs are in abundance.

An expert in business development, Acquah Paul added that some SMEs are not implementing ICT tools due to limited funds, lack of knowledge, lack of skilled staff, ignorance about the existence of ICT tools, and low investments.

Some SME operators who spoke to African Eye Report confirmed that they are using low ICT tools because of the above-mentioned challenges.

Ms Akorfa Cudjoe, a fashion designer with over 10 employees, said: “The only ICT tools we use for our business are mobile phones and mobile money to enable us transact business with our customers”.

Although she knows about the existence of other ICT tools including computers, laptops and broadband services, Ms Cudjoe said they were expensive for her to acquire.

For Kwesi Yeboah who owns mobile phone and mobile phone accessory shops at different locations in the Accra metropolis admitted that their rate of using ICT tools was not impressive.

“We are selling ICT hardwares but we are yet to connect our shops to the internet service”.

When asked why he is yet to connect to the internet service, Mr Yeboah said: “I don’t want to employ three IT experts to man the service. Lastly, the market is too slow”.

Strategies to improve SMEs’ adoption of ICT

One of the most effective strategies to improve chances of success for SMEs in Ghana is to modernize their businesses by adopting ICT tools.

A recent study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group found that tech-savvy SMEs grow their revenues 15 per cent faster than those using less advanced technology.

It further found that they grew jobs nearly twice as fast as those SMEs that have not embraced modernisation technologies.

The modernization of SMEs should not be a gradual process as the opportunity exists to migrate SMEs directly from no or very limited use of technology, to embracing the next wave of technology to profitably exploit the benefits immediately, the Microsoft Country Manager for Ghana, Derek Appiah said.

“Those entrepreneurs who are ready to employ new media, technologies and strategies that will help the success of their businesses will benefit almost immediately with modernization”. Opportunities abound for SME entrepreneurs to embrace new technologies, and added bundled offers that go with it to make it easier to be online, connected and changing world, according to him.

ICT solutions for SMEs

MTN Business has developed ICT solutions aimed at improving the operational efficiencies and customer experience of businesses to enable them become competitive in both the local and global market.

One of the latest additions to the bouquet of services offered is the MTN Fibre Broadband Services designed to provide fixed internet connectivity to homes, offices, corporate organizations and SMEs.

Sam Addo- General Manager – MTN Business, noted that many SME organisations graduate to become influential corporate businesses employing hundreds and contributing to the growth of the Ghanaian economy.

“MTN Business takes great satisfaction in assisting SME customers and watching them expand and grow to eventually become multi-national corporate organisations. Our custom solutions are specifically designed to help you along your path to success”.

MTN Business provides a wide range of products and services tailored to provide entrepreneurs with connectivity solutions.

The business arm of the largest telecom operator in Ghana also offers bespoke security solutions that make SMEs gain visibility on their operations, Mr Addo added.

The solutions have the ability to respond to new business opportunities with products designed to enhance productivity, efficiency and communications of SMEs in the country. “Because of scalability, our services are tailored to grow with you as your business expands”.

Why the SME sector is important

The SME sector, according to development economists is widely seen as the growth engine for internally driven economic transformation.

With strong GDP growth and competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers, it has spurred growth with a subscribership of more than 130 per 100 persons having a mobile contract in Ghana, and rising.

Considering that 71.4 percent of the country’s total workforce, according to the latest edition of the Integrated Business Establishment Survey (IBES II) by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) are employed by the SME sector. While the large-sized establishments employ only 16.6 percent.

The survey, carried out between November 2015 and May 2017, shows that majority of the workforce are in the services, particularly the wholesale and retail trade sub-sector. This explains why there is a low manufacturing base of the Ghanaian economy.

By Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh, African Eye Report

 

 

 

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