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POLICY BRIEFS

POLICY BRIEFS

POLICY BRIEFS (7)

Micro, small- and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) are very relevant actors in economies Micro, small- and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) are very relevant actors in economies globally. These businesses cut across all sectors of the economy and significantly contribute towards human resource development, employment and income generation, economic growth, poverty reduction, development of indigenous entrepreneurship, and youth and female employment, in developed and developing countries (OECD, 2017; Eggers, 2020; Turkson, Amissah & Gyeko-Darko, 2020). In Ghana, MSMEs contribute about 70% of Gross Domestic Product. They also account for about 90% of businesses and 80% of employment within the country’s informal sector (Oppong, Owiredu & Churchill, 2014; GSS, 2015). More importantly, the MSME landscape in the informal sector is dominated by women (Minta & Darkwah, 2018). These women are making significant contributions to their economies in terms of job creation and economic growth (Ahmad & Arif, 2015). The 2018/2019 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report estimates that about 231 million women were starting or running businesses in 59 economies worldwide. The 2018 Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship report also indicated that about 46.4% of businesses in Ghana are owned by women.

Digital technologies are rapidly disrupting work and business ecosystems around the world Digital technologies are rapidly disrupting work and business ecosystems around the world (Mazzarol, 2015). In 2016, the digital economy was estimated at USD 11.5 trillion or 15.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and was expected to reach 25% in less than a decade—far outperforming the growth of the traditional sectors (World Bank, 2019). In the developing world, this ongoing digital transition offers small businesses the opportunity to access wider markets, connect to global supply chains and improve access to business information and financial resources (Cesaroni, Demartini & Paoloni, 2017). In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), electronic payments dominated by mobile money platforms by telecommunication companies are driving financial inclusion among the underserved (Huawei & Oxford Economics, 2016). Similarly, e-commerce is growing rapidly in Africa with an estimated annual growth rate of more than 40%, while the entire digital economy of Africa is estimated to reach USD 300 billion by 2025 (World Bank, 2019; McKinsey, 2013).

This brief presents findings from a mixed-methods study of the stakeholders of young construction workers’ (aged 18-35 years) health, their roles, and their stakeholder preferences. The study focused on workers in the three largest urban areas in Ghana (i.e., Accra/Tema, Kumasi, and Takoradi/Cape-Coast). Interviews and a focus group discussion with health experts, employers, and young workers revealed nine categories of stakeholders of young construction workers’ health were identified, viz.: health group, occupational health and safety agencies, construction industry actors, government, academia, media, youth health activists and promoters, community, and construction employees. A survey of 445 young construction workers revealed the most preferred stakeholders to be the media, academia, and youth health activists and promoters. The least preferred stakeholders were government, and occupational health and safety agencies. The research emphasizes the need for a collaborative and coordinated stakeholder effort toward undertaking more research, developing policy frameworks, designing and implementing workplace wellbeing interventions, and increasing young workers’ health and safety literacy

This brief presents findings from a mixed-methods study that explores the state of physical health among young workers (aged 18-35 years) in Ghana’s construction industry. The study focused on workers in the three largest urban areas in Ghana (i.e., Accra/Tema, Kumasi, and Takoradi/ Cape-Coast). Interviews and a focus group discussion with health experts, employers, and young workers revealed the most common physical health problems to be stomach problems, skin problems, musculoskeletal disorders, sexual weakness, hypertension, and heart problems. A survey of 445 young construction workers revealed a high prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders and skin-related problems. Poor physical health significantly contributed to reduced work ability of young construction workers, days away from work, and possibly poor mental health. The research highlights the need to give proper attention to the management of youth health in the construction industry

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