SMEs: A Catalyst To Upscale Economy In D-8 Countries – Fasanya

By Genevieve Aningo
SMEs: A Catalyst To Upscale Economy In D-8 Countries - Fasanya
Olawale Fasanya

The Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, (SMEDAN), Mr. Olawale Fasanya has reiterated that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have the potential to yield rapid integration, growth and development of D-8 countries.

The SMEDAN Boss, Fasanya said this in his welcome address at the opening of the D-8 Forum on SMEs and Health Markets in Abuja recently.

 Fasanya revealed that SMEs contribute up to a significant percentage of total employment and higher Gross Domestic Products in D-8.

He said: ‘’In emerging markets, 4 out of 5 new positions were created by SMEs , which is about 90% of total employment in the formal sector. Also, formal SMEs contribute up to 40% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the D-8 National economies’’.

He also reported that a World Bank study revealed that 600 million jobs will be needed in the next 15 years to absorb the growing global workforce mainly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, thus SMEs will take a leading role in meeting most economic related goals of the Social Development Goals.

According to him, ‘’The development of SMEs is therefore crucial to the ‘Leaving No One Behind’ Principle, central to the 2030 Agenda. These include promotion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, increasing employment opportunities and decent work especially for the poor; in addition to promoting sustainable industrialization, innovation and creating a positive push for higher quality of life, better education and good health for all’’ .

Fasanya  identified that a large proportion of SMEs in most developing countries are hampered by financial resources and face tremendous barriers in accessing conventional financial institutions for start-up businesses due to their poverty and lack of collateral assets.

He pinpointed that financial challenge is particularly affecting entrepreneurs among rural women and other socially disadvantaged groups.

The Director General then advised that the D-8 member States should jointly address these  issues . He reeled out: “We can arrange an exchange program for some key officers in SMEs developing agencies of the D-8 countries to self-develop in the form of Training of Trainers in the areas of the use of technology, improving product export, development of agric-value chain and access to finance. I also believe that special trade fairs/expos can be arranged for member States to create markets and cross-border trades for SMEs that are export-ready”.

 The SMEDAN helmsman further explained that these benefits influenced the establishment of a D-8 centre for SMEs.

‘’ The D-8 Centre on SMEs will unleash substantial development impacts, synergies between and among the D-8 members States and relevant national agencies/authorities. The Centre will also provide tremendous opportunities for SMEs to connect and jointly explore platforms on transforming scientific innovations at the national level into development solutions for the D-8 family’’, he said .

He implored D-8 Secretariat and other D-8 national authorities responsible for development and regulation of SMEs to collaborate to identify best practices and develop recommendations to eliminate bottlenecks and maximize the potential of SMEs among D-8 Member States.

The D-8 countries is an association for development cooperation among eight countries namely : Bangladesh, Egypt , Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria , Pakistan  and Turkiye. D-8 was established on June 15th 1997.

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