Saturday, February 8, 2020

International Law Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words

International Law - Assignment Example In this regard, obligations erga omnes should be accepted as international law due to the fact that they are based on natural law which must be observed and respected by all states, regardless of jurisdiction5. In this regard, Francisco (33) this kind of law takes precedence over treaty law where international law is concerned due to its nature and the need to protect the basic human rights. It also helps states to be accountable with regard to their actions and this in turn promotes peace6. .7 This is an indication of just how important it is for states to look at these universal obligations as international law8. Treating these obligations as international laws is important for states as it not only also protects them from abuse by other states, but sets clear precedent as to how they should treat other countries and their citizens in cases where there are no clear lines of actions9. A good example of where this is applicable is the issue of torture which is now interminably regard ed as illegal in the face of international law10. As Christian (95) says, it is necessary for all states to understand their legal obligations towards each other in order to have a harmonious existence as the international community. ... This is also echoed by Christian13 who also argues that all states must be able to follow the protocols of international law even in cases where there are no clear guidelines. According to him, where there are no clear guidelines, states must look at the fundamental human rights and use them as the beacon14. International treaties and statues such as the Rome statues are based on this kind of legal precedence that is grounded on the application of universal natural human rights15. Basic human rights are fundamentally international law as every human being is entitled to these rights regardless of where they are16. The Rome statues for instance looks at the rights of soldiers who are captured at war and the captor country is, under the Rome Statue, not allowed to torture the captives as this is an aggravation of basic human rights17. As Francisco (205) says, international humanitarian law is based on the fact that a violation of this law towards even one individual is a violation of t he same towards all mankind. This is predicated by the same declaration with regard to slavery and marine piracy which, when committed is seen under international as a violation not only to the circumstantial victims but also to the rest of mankind18. The violation of the basic human rights such as the deprivation of dignity, the denial of due process etc, to one individual is seen as an undermining of human life all over the world19. Bibliography Andre, Hoogh. Obligations Erga Omnes and International Crimes: A Theoretical Inquiry Into the Implementation and Enforcement of the International Responsibility of States. Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers,

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Effect of Internal Controls on Financial Performance Essay Example for Free

Effect of Internal Controls on Financial Performance Essay Over the past decade, Africa and other developing regions have been in the midst of tremendous changes. Market liberalization and governmental decentralization policies have interfaced with globalization and urbanization trends to dramatically transform social, political, economic and cultural lives. In this context of rapid change, SME operations can no longer remain behind serving only to meet sustenance income for their owners. SMEs engagements have to become a dynamic and integral part of the market economy. The identification of factors that determine new venture performance such as survival, growth or profitability has been one of the most central fields of entrepreneurship research (Sarasvathy, 2004). A multitude of research papers has focused on exploring various variables and their impact on performance (Bamford et al., 2004). However, in order to be able to analyze and model the performance of new ventures and SMEs, the complexity and dynamism they are facing as well as the fact that they may not be a homogenous group but significantly different in regard to many characteristics (Gartner et al., 1989) have to be taken into account. In line with the above, there have been challenging debates all over the world on the role played by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) towards economic development. Therefore, a vast literature on the growth and performance of SMEs has been developed over the years. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have had a privileged treatment in the development literature, particularly over the last two decades. Hardly any arguments are put forward against SMEs, even if development policies do not necessarily favour them and economic programs, voluntarily or not, often continue to result in large capital investment. Arguments for SMEs come from almost all corners of the development literature programs, particularly in the less developed countries (LDCs), tend to emphasise the role of SMEs, even if practical results differ from the rhetoric. (Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco. May, 2003) Therefore, SMEs seem to be an accepted wisdom within the development debate. It is believed that growth in SMEs should have a positive effect on the living conditions of the people, their income level, housing, utilities. Castel-Branco (2003), in a study, revealed that this is not always true because areas where SMEs are performing so well attracts public attention and many competitors begin to troop into the area. This subsequently leads to over congestion with its associated problems of which accommodation is not an exception. The structure of SMEs in Ghana as perhaps one of the main engines of growth can be viewed as rural and urban enterprises. For urban enterprises, they can either be planned or unplanned. The planned-urban enterprises are characterized by paid employees with registered offices whereas unplanned-urban enterprises are mostly confined to the home, open space, temporal wooden structures, and employment therein is family or apprentices oriented. In the recent pursuit of economic progress, Ghana as a developing country has generally come to recognize that the SME sector may well be the main driving force for growth, due to its entrepreneurial resources and employment opportunities. Nevertheless, the existing attempts to explore empirically the roles played by SME in the economic development of a nation are still somewhat ambiguous. This can be attributed, more or less, to the fact that when examining economic progress per se, economists have tended to ignore the industrial structure of the economy and the impact this can have on such development. The ambiguity of the role of SMEs has therefore necessitated the need for a study to be conducted to access the actual impact of the proliferation of SMEs on the inhabitants of the Medina community. 1.2 Problem Statement The small business sector is recognized as an integral component of economic development and a crucial element in the effort to lift countries out of poverty (Wolfenson, 2001). The dynamic role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries as engines through which the growth objectives of developing countries can be achieved has long been recognized. The growth of small scale businesses in Ghana so rapid, that it is now seen as a daily affair. Many Potential owners of SMEs move to areas where the feel they can succeed to set them up there. More so, many factors may contribute to the movement of people to settle at certain geographical areas. It is believed that the factors that influence migration include the need for peaceful and violent free environment, the need for fertile business locations, the desire for privacy, government policy and a host of others. Specifically, with reference to the above, the Medina municipality of the Greater Accra region has experienced a noticeable growth and increase in the number movements into the area and for that matter SMEs increase in the last few years. It is important to mention that some research studies have been conducted to determine the real impact of migrations on host societies. In line with the above, this study sorts to assess the nature of SMEs in Medina with respect to the involvement of men and women, the main sources funds for them, the main objectives and challenges faced by SMEs in Medina, reasons the explosion of SMEs in Medina and the scio-economic impacts of this growth of SMEs in Medina. 1.3 Objectives: 1.3.1 Main Objective The main objective of this study is to assess the general impact of the plorefication of SMEs in Medina on the Medina municipality of the Greater Accra region. 1.3.2 Specific Objectives 1. To assess the nature and forms of SMEs in Medina and the relative involvement of women and men. 2. To identify the main objectives and challenges of SMEs in Medina and to rank them in order of importance. 3. Assess the main sources of capital for SMEs in Medina. 4. To assess the status of SMEs in Medina with regard to business registration, savings, record keeping and business account holding. 5. To determine the factors that account for the emergence of small scale businesses in the Medina community 6. To assess the socio-economic impacts of the growth of SMEs in Medina 1.4 Research Questions The study shall provide answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the nature of SME operation in Medina and the relative involvement of women and men? 2. What are the main objectives and challenges of SMEs in Medina and which are ranked more importance? 3. What are the main sources of capital for SMEs in Medina? 4. What are the status of SMEs in Medina with regard to business registration, savings, record keeping and business account holding? 5. What factors have accounted for the emergence of small scale businesses in the Medina community? 6. What are the socio-economic impacts of the growth of SMEs in Medina? 1.5 Justification of the Study It is difficult to analyze the performance, nature of operation and behavior of the SME sector in Ghana due to the lack of comprehensive data on them and their activities. The sector is not classified into sub-sectors and the last industrial survey was conducted in 1995 but covered only medium and large-scale industries. In respect of this, the justification of this study rests on the fact that, study will help provide information on the nature of SMEs in Medina with respect to the involvement of men and women, the main sources funds for them, the main objectives and challenges faced by SMEs in Medina, reasons the explosion of SMEs in Medina and the socio-economic impacts of this growth of SMEs in Medina. Furthermore, the study while provide vital information policy makers of the Medina municipality and all other stakeholders of the Medina community. Finally the study while produce information to will add on to existing literature for further studies in this area. 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study Due to time and resource constrains, this study is restricted particularly to the Medina community. The study focuses on the factors that account for the growth of SMEs in Medina and the socio-economic impacts of this change on the people of Medina among others. The study is limited in scope because it fails to cover the entire population of Ghana. The findings of this study may therefore lack generalizability as far as other communities in Ghana are concern. 1.7 Organization of the Study Chapter 1 deals with the background of the study, the problem statement, objectives of the study, justification of the study and organization of the study. Chapter 2 reviews both theoretical and empirical literatures on SMEs in general, in Ghana among others. Chapter 3 introduces the study area and describes the methodologies used to analyze the problems stated. It includes the methods used for data collection, and procedure for data analysis. Chapter 4 is devoted to presentation and discussion of results. Summary statistics of the variables used in the study are presented and discussed. Chapter 5 winds up this study drawing conclusions, their policy implications. Suggestions for future research based on the findings are made. CHAPTER TWO 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction This chapter reviews works on small and medium enterprises in the world, Africa and Ghana. The state of SMEs in Ghana is reviewed here. Also, Works on performance and determinants of performance of SMEs are captured. Furthermore, a section of this chapter assesses the various methods of measuring performance of SMEs which while help open up the understanding of the state of SMEs in Medina. Finally, this chapter closes with some migration theories to help facilitate the comprehension of the factors that actually account for human migration, in this case migration to Medina. 2.2 Definitions and Concepts of SMEs There is no single, uniformly acceptable, definition of a small firm (Storey, 1994). Firms differ in their levels of capitalization, sales and employment. Hence, definitions that employ measures of size (number of employees, turnover, profitability, net worth, etc.) when applied to one sector could lead to all firms being classified as small, while the same size definition when applied to a different sector could lead to a different result. The first attempt to overcome this definition problem was by the Bolton Committee (1971) when they formulated an â€Å"economic† and a â€Å"statistical† definition. Under the economic definition, a firm is regarded as small if it meets the following three criteria: i. It has a relatively small share of their market place; ii. It is managed by owners or part owners in a personalized way, and not through the medium of a formalized management structure; iii. It is independent, in the sense of not forming part of a large enterprise. The Committee also devised a â€Å"statistical† definition to be used in three main areas: a. Quantifying the size of the small firm sector and its contribution to GDP, employment, exports, etc.; b. Comparing the extent to which the small firm sector’s economic contribution has changed over time; c. Applying the statistical definition in a cross-country comparison of the small firms’ economic contribution. Thus, the Bolton Committee employed different definitions of the small firm to different sectors. 2.2.1 Criticism of the Bolton Committee’s â€Å"Economic† Definition of SMEs A number of weaknesses were identified with the Bolton Committee’s â€Å"economic† and `statistical’ definitions. First, the economic definition which states that a small business is managed by its owners or part owners in a personalized way, and not through the medium of a formal management structure, is incompatible with its statistical definition of small manufacturing firms which could have up to 200 employees. As firm size increases, owners no longer make principal decisions but devolve responsibility to a team of managers. For example, it is unlikely for a firm with hundred employees to be managed in a personalized way, suggesting that the `economic’ and `statistical’ definitions are incompatible. Another shortcoming of the Bolton Committee’s economic definition is that it considers small firms to be operating in a perfectly competitive market. However, the idea of perfect competition may not apply here; many small firms occupy `niches’ and provide a highly specialized service or product in a geographically isolated area and do not perceive any clear competition (Wynarczyk et al, 1993; Storey, 1994). Alternatively, Wynarczyk et al (1993) identified the characteristics of the small firm other than size. They argued that there are three ways of differentiating between small and large firms. The small firm has to deal with: (a) Uncertainty associated with being a price taker; (b) Limited customer and product base; (c) Uncertainty associated with greater diversity of objectives as compared with large firms. As Storey (1994) stated, there are three key distinguishing features between large and small firms. Firstly, the greater external uncertainty of the environment in which the small firm operates and the greater internal consistency of its motivations and actions. Secondly, they have a different role in innovation. Small firms are able to produce something marginally different, in terms of product or service, which differs from the standardized product or service provided by large firms. A third area of distinction between small and large firms is the greater likelihood of evolution and change in the smaller firm; small firms that become large undergo a number of stage changes. 2.2.2 Criticism of the Bolton Committee’s â€Å"Statistical† Definition of SMEs (i) No single definition or criteria was used for â€Å"smallness†, (number of employees, turnover, ownership and assets were used instead) (ii) Three different upper limits of turnover were specified for the different sectors and two different upper limits were identified for number of employees. (iii) Comparing monetary units over time requires construction of index numbers to take account of price changes. Moreover, currency fluctuations make international comparison more difficult. (iv) The definition considered the small firm sector to be homogeneous; however, firms may grow from small to medium and in some cases to large. It was against this background that the European Commission (EC) coined the term `Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)’. The SME sector is made up of three components: (i) Firms with 0 to 9 employees micro enterprises (ii) 10 to 99 employees small enterprises (iii) 100 to 499 employees medium enterprises. Thus, the SME sector is comprised of enterprises, which employ less than 500 workers. In effect, the EC definitions are based solely on employment rather than a multiplicity of criteria. Secondly, the use of 100 employees as the small firm’s upper limit is more appropriate given the increase in productivity over the last two decades (Storey, 1994). Finally, the EC definition did not assume the SME group is homogenous, that is, the definition makes a distinction between micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. However, the EC definition is too all embracing for a number of countries. Researchers would have to use definitions for small firms that are more appropriate to their particular `target’ group (an operational definition). It must be emphasized that debates on definitions turn out to be sterile unless size is a factor that influences performance. For instance, the relationship between size and performance matters when assessing the impact of a credit programme o n a targeted group (also refer to Storey, 1994). 2.2.3 Alternative Definitions of SMEs World Bank since 1976 Firms with fixed assets (excluding land) less than US$ 250,000 in value are Small Scale Enterprises. Grindle et al (1988) Small scale enterprises are firms with less than or equal to 25 permanent members and with fixed assets (excludingland) worth up to US$ 50,000. USAID in the 1990s Firms with less than 50 employees and at least half the output is sold (also refer to Mead, 1984). UNIDO’s Definition for Developing Countries: Large firms with 100+ workers Medium firms with 20 99 workers Small firms with 5 19 workers Micro firms with 5 workers UNIDO’s Definition for Industrialized Countries: Large firms with 500+ workers Medium firms with 100 499 workers Small firms with ≠¤99 workers From the various definitions above, it can be said that there is no unique definition for a small and medium scale enterprise thus, an operational definition is required. 2.2.4 Definitions SMEs in Ghana Small Scale enterprises have been variously defined, but the most commonly used criterion is the number of employees of the enterprise. In applying this definition, confusion often arises in respect of the arbitrariness and cut off points used by the various official sources. As contained in its Industrial Statistics, The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) considers firms with less than 10 employees as Small Scale Enterprises and their counterparts with more than 10 employees as Medium and Large-Sized Enterprises. Ironically, The GSS in its national accounts considered companies with up to 9 employees as Small and Medium Enterprises (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). An alternate criterion used in defining small and medium enterprises is the value of fixed assets in the organization. However, the National Board of Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in Ghana applies both the `fixed asset and number of employees’ criteria. It defines a Small Scale Enterprise as one with not more than 9 workers, has plant and machinery (excluding land, buildings and vehicles) not exceeding 10 million Cedis (US$ 9506, using 1994 exchange rate) (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). The Ghana Enterprise Development Commission (GEDC) on the other hand uses a 10 million Cedis upper limit definition for plant and machinery. A point of caution is that the process of valuing fixed assets in itself poses a problem. Secondly, the continuous depreciation in the exchange rate often makes such definitions out-dated (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). Steel and Webster (1990), Osei et al (1993) in defining Small Scale Enterprises in Ghana used an employment cut off point of 30 employees to indicate Small Scale Enterprises. The latter however dis-aggregated small scale enterprises into 3 categories: (i) micro -employing less than 6 people; (ii) very small, those employing 6-9 people; (iii) small -between 10 and 29 employees. 2.3 Why Small and Medium Scale Enterprises? The choice of small and medium scale enterprises within the industrial sector for this study is based on the following propositions (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). (a) Large Scale Industry (i) Have not been an engine of growth and a good provider of employment; (ii) Already receive enormous support through general trade, finance, tax policy and direct subsidies; (b) Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (i) Mobilize funds which otherwise would have been idle; (ii) Have been recognized as a seed-bed for indigenous entrepreneurship; (iii) Are labour intensive, employing more labour per unit of capital than large enterprises; (iv) Promote indigenous technological know-how; (vii) Are able to compete (but behind protective barriers); (viii) Use mainly local resources, thus have less foreign exchange requirements; (ix) Cater for the needs of the poor and; (x) Adapt easily to customer requirements (flexible specialization), (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). 2.4.0 The Role and Characteristics of SMEs 2.4.1 Role of SMEs in Developing Countries Small-scale rural and urban enterprises have been one of the major areas of concern to many policy makers in an attempt to accelerate the rate of growth in low income countries. These enterprises have been recognized as the engines through which the growth objectives of developing countries can be achieved. They are potential sources of employment and income in many developing countries. It is estimated that SMEs employ 22% of the adult population in developing countries (Daniels Ngwira, 1992; Daniels Fisseha, 1993; Fisseha, 1992; Fisseha McPherson, 1991; Gallagher Robson, 1995). However, some authors have contended that the job creating impact of small scale enterprises is a statistical flaw; it does not take into account offsetting factors that make the net impact more modest (Biggs, Grindle Snodgrass, 1988). It is argued that increases in employment of Small and Medium Enterprises are not always associated with increases in productivity. Nevertheless, the important role performed by these enterprises cannot be overlooked. Small firms have some advantages over their large-scale competitors. They are able to adapt more easily to market conditions given their broadly skilled technologies. However, narrowing the analysis down to developing countries raises the following puzzle: Do small-scale enterprises have a dynamic economic role? Due to their flexible nature, SMEs are able to withstand adverse economic conditions. They are more labour intensive than larger firms and therefore, have lower capital costs associated with job creation (Anheier Seibel, 1987; Liedholm Mead, 1987; Schmitz, 1995). Small-scale enterprises (SSEs) perform useful roles in ensuring income stability, growth and employment. Since SMEs are labour intensive, they are more likely to succeed in smaller urban centres and rural areas, where they can contribute to the more even distribution of economic activity in a region and can help to slow the flow of migration to large cities. Because of their regional dispersion and their labour intensity, it is argued that small-scale production units can promote a more equitable distribution of income than large firms. They also improve the efficiency of domestic markets and make productive use of scarce resources, thus, facilitating long term economic growth. 2.4.2 Characteristics of SMEs in Ghana A distinguishing feature of SMEs from larger firms is that the latter have direct access to international and local capital markets whereas the former are excluded because of the higher intermediation costs of smaller projects. In addition, SMEs face the same fixed cost as Large Scale Enterprises (LSEs) in complying with regulations but have limited capacity to market products abroad. SMEs in Ghana can be categorised into urban and rural enterprises. The former can be sub-divided into `organised’ and `unorganised’ enterprises. The organised ones tend to have paid employees with a registered office whereas the unorganised category is mainly made up of artisans who work in open spaces, temporary wooden structures, or at home and employ little or in some cases no salaried workers. They rely mostly on family members or apprentices. Rural enterprises are largely made up of family groups, individual artisans, women engaged in food production of local crops. The major activities within this sector include:- soap and detergents, fabrics, clothing and tailoring, textile and leather, village blacksmiths, tin-smithing, ceramics, timber and mining, beverages, food processing, bakeries, wood furniture, electronic assembly, agro processing, chemical based products and mechanics ( Liedholm Mead, 1987; Osei et al, 1993, World Bank, 1992). It is interesting to note that small-scale enterprises make better use of scarce resources than large-scale enterprises. Research in Ghana and many other countries have shown that capital productivity is often higher in SMEs than is the case with LSEs (Steel, 1977). The reason for this is not difficult to see, SMEs are labour intensive with very small amount of capital invested. Thus, they tend to witness high capital productivity, which is an economically sound investment. Thus, it has been argued that promoting the SME sector in developing countries will create more employment opportunities, lead to a more equitable distribution of income, and will ensure increased productivity with better technology (Steel Webster, 1990). 2.5 SME Approaches There are several approaches or theories to entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises. For the purpose of this study, the research team will dwell on three major theories. These include: venture opportunity, Agency Theory and Theory of Equity Funds 2.5.1 The Venture Opportunity The venture opportunity school of thought focuses on the opportunity aspect of venture development. The search for idea sources, the development of concepts; and the implementation of venture opportunities are the important interest areas for this school. Creativity and market awareness are viewed as essential. Additionally, according to this school of thought, developing the right idea at the right time for the right market niche is the key to entrepreneurial success. Major proponents include: N Krueger 1993, Long W. McMullan 1984. Another development from this school of thought is what is described by McMullan (1984) as â€Å"corridor principle’’. This principle outlines that, giving prior attention to new pathways or opportunities as they arise and implementing the necessary steps for action are key factors in business development. The maxim that â€Å"preparation meeting opportunity, equals â€Å"luck† underlines this corridor principle. Proponents of this school of thought believe that proper preparation in the interdisciplinary business segments will enhance the ability to recognise good venture opportunities. Comparing the study with the above theory, the question that arises is: What are the factors or opportunities that have led to the proliferation of small and medium scale enterprises in Medina Township? Is it due to a particular market niche, creativity or market awareness? If so, then what socio-economic impact do they have on the people of Medina Township? 2.5.2 Agency Theory Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of two-sided transactions which holds that any financial transactions involves two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations. Major proponents of this theory include: Eisenhardt 1989, Emery et al.1991 and JH Davis – 1997. These Proponents of agency theory assume that agents will always have a personal interest which conflicts the interest of the principal. This is usually referred to as the Agency problem. 2.5.3 Theory of Equity Funds Equity is also known as owners equity, capital, or net worth. Costand et al (1990) suggests that larger firms will use greater levels of debt financing than small firms. This implies that larger firms will rely relatively less on equity financing than do smaller firms’. According to the pecking order framework, the small enterprises have two problems when it comes to equity funding [McMahon et al. (1993, pp153)]: 1) Small enterprises usually do not have the option of issuing additional equity to the public. 2) Owner-managers are strongly averse to any dilution of their ownership interest and control. This way they are unlike the managers of large concerns who usually have only a limited degree of control and limited, if any, ownership interest, and are therefore prepared to recognize a broader range of funding options. Modern financial management is not the ultimate answer to every whim and caprice. However, it could be argued that there is some food for thought for SMEs concerning every concept. For example Access to Capital is really eye-opener for SMEs in Ghana to carve their way into sustaining their growth. 2.6 Policies for Promoting SMEs in Ghana Small-scale enterprise promotion in Ghana was not impressive in the 1960s. Dr. Nkrumah (President of the First Republic) in his modernization efforts emphasized state participation but did not encourage the domestic indigenous sector. The local entrepreneurship was seen as a potential political threat. To worsen the situation, the deterioration in the Balance of Payments in the 1980s and the overvaluation of the exchange rate led to reduce capacity utilization in the import dependent large-scale sector. Rising inflation and falling real wages also forced many formal sector employees into secondary self-employment in an attempt to earn a decent income. As the economy declined, large-scale manufacturing employment stagnated (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). According to Steel and Webster (1991), small scale and self-employment grew by 2.9% per annum (ten times as many jobs as large scale employment) but their activities accounted for only a third of the value added. It was in the light of the above that the government of Ghana started promoting small-scale enterprises. They were viewed as the mechanism through which a transition from state-led economy to a private oriented developmental strategy could be achieved. Thus the SME sector’s role was re-defined to include the following (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000): (i) Assisting the state in reducing its involvement in direct production (ii) Absorbing labour from the state sector, given the relatively labour intensive nature of small scale enterprises, and; (iii) Developing indigenous entrepreneurial and managerial skills needed for sustained industrialization. 2.6.1 Government and Institutional Support to SMEs To enable the sector perform its role effectively, the following technical, institutional and financial supports were put in place by government. (i) Government Government, in an attempt to strengthen the response of the private sector to economic reforms undertook a number of measures in 1992. Prominent among them is the setting up of the Private Sector Advisory Group and the abolition of the Manufacturing Industries Act, 1971 (Act 356) that repealed a number of price control laws, and The Investment Code of 1985 (PNDC Law 116), which seeks to promote joint ventures between foreign and local investors. In addition to the above, a Legislative Instrument on Immigrant Quota, which grants automatic immigrant quota for investors, has been enacted. Besides, certain Technology Transfer Regulations have been introduced. Government also provided equipment leasing, an alternative and flexible source of long term financing of plant and equipment for enterprises that cannot afford their own. A Mutual Credit Guarantee Scheme was also set up for entrepreneurs who have inadequate or no collateral and has limited access to bank credit. To complement these efforts, a Rural Finance Project aimed at providing long-term credit to small-scale farmers and artisans was set up. In 1997, government proposed the establishment of an Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), operational under the Exim Guarantee Company Scheme of the Bank of Ghana. This was in aid of industrial and export services within the first quarter of 1998. To further improve the industrial sector, according to the 1998 Budget Statement, specific attention was to be given to the following industries for support in accessing the EDIF for rehabilitation and retooling: Textiles/Garments; Wood and Wood Processing; Food and Food Processing and Packaging. It was also highlighted that government would support industries with export potential to overcome any supply-based difficulty by accessing EDIF and rationalize the tariff regime in a bid to improve their export competitiveness. In addition, a special monitoring mechanism has been developed at the Ministry of Trade and Industries. In a bid to improve trade and investment, particularly in the industrial sector, trade and investment facilitating measures were put in place. Visas for all categories of investors and tourists were issued on arrival at the ports of entry while the Customs Excise and Preventive Service at the ports were made proactive, operating 7-days a week. The government continued supporting programmes aimed at skills training, registration and placement of job seekers, training and re-training of redeployees. This resulted in a 5% rise in enrolment in the various training institutes such as The National Vocational and Training Institute (NVTI), Opportunity Industrialization Centres (OIC), etc. As at the end of 1997, 65,830 out of 72,000 redeployees who were re-trained under master craftsmen have been provided with tools and have become self-employed. (ii) Institutions The idea of SME promotion has been in existence since 1970 though very little was done at the time. Key institutions were set up to assist SMEs and prominent among them was The Office of Business Promotion, now the present Ghana Enterprise Development Commission (GEDC). It aims at assisting Ghanaian businessmen to enter into fields where foreigners mainly operated but which became available to Ghanaians after the ‘Alliance Compliance Order’ in 1970. GEDC also had packages for strengthening small-scale industry in general, both technically and financially. The Economic Recovery Programme instituted in 1983 has broadened the institutional support for SMEs. The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has been established within the then Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology now (Ministry of Science and Technology) to address the needs of small businesses. The NBSSI established an Entrepreneurial Development Programme, intended to train and assist persons with entrepreneurial abilities into self-employment. In 1987, the industrial sector also witnessed the coming into operation of the Ghana Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS). It was to supervise the operations of Intermediate Technology Transfer Units (ITTUs) in the country. GRATIS aims at upgrading small scale industrial concerns by transferring appropriate technology to small scale and informal industries at the grass root level. ITTUs in the regions are intended to develop the engineering abilities of small scale manufacturing and service industries engaged in vehicle repairs and other related trades. They are also to address the needs of non-engineering industries. So far, 6 ITTUs have been set up in Cape Coast, Ho, Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Tema. (iii) Financial Assistance Access to credit has been one of the main bottlenecks to SME development. Most SMEs lack the necessary collateral to obtain bank loans. To address this issue, the Central Bank of Ghana has established a credit guarantee scheme to underwrite loans made by Commercial Banks to small-scale enterprises. Unfortunately, the scheme did not work out as expected. It was against this background that the Bank of Ghana obtained a US$ 28 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank for the establishment of a Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (FUSMED). Under the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD), a revolving fund of US$ 2 million was set aside to assist SMEs. This aspect is too scanty in the midst of the abundant information, especially with reference to Ghana. 2.7 Gender and Small Business Performance Until more recently gender differences in small business performance remained largely unaddressed by social scientists (Greene, Hart, Gatewood, Brush, Carter, 2003). The majority of studies either disregarded gender as a variable of interest or excluded female subjects from their design (Du Rietz Henrekson, 2000). However, it is generally accepted that male and female owner-managers behave differently and that these behavioral differences influence their performance (Brush, 1992), but these differences have been recognized but not fully explained (Brush Hisrich 2000). A comparison of performance of male and female owner-managers in Java, Indonesia showed that female-owned businesses tend to be less oriented towards growth compared to male-owned businesses (Singh, Reynolds, Muhammad, 2001). Boden Nucci (2000) investigated start-ups in the retail and service industries and found that the mean survival rate for male owned businesses was four to six percent higher than for female owned businesses. Loscocco, Robinson, Hall Allen (1991) in their study of small businesses in the New England region of the USA found that both sales volume and income levels were lower for female- than for male-owned businesses. In a longitudinal study of 298 small firms in the United Kingdom (UK), of which 67 were female owned, Johnson Storey (1994) observed that whilst female owner-managers had more stable enterprises than their male counterparts, on average the sales turnover for female owners were lower than for male owners. Brush (1992) suggests that women perform less on quantitative financial measures such as jobs created, sales turnover and profitability because they pursue intrinsic goals such as independence, and the flexibility to combine family and work commitments rather than financial gain. In contrast to the above findings, Du Rietz and Henrekson (2000) reported that female-owned businesses were just as successful as their male counterparts when size and sector are controlled. In his study of small and medium firms in Australia, Watson (2002), after controlling for the effect of industry sector, age of the business, and the number of days of operation, also reported no significant differences in performance between the male- controlled and female-controlled firms.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Essay --

In this essay I would like to reflect what I have personally learn more about Thai culture from my intercultural interaction with a Thai person as well as through my in depth reading about Thai culture and history. Thai culture characteristics, behaviors, and values share many similarities and differences with my Taiwanese culture. The person who I interviewed with had given me a great insight into Thai way of thinking and ways of life. Although I have been living in Thai for so many years, but with my Taiwanese upbringing culture I have learn some of the prominent Thai culture, believes, values, and characteristics to be too difficult to understand. In this essay, you will find discussion and examples of Thai prominent cultures, values, believe and Thai historical events and people who had played a great role in changing Thais ways of life. Next, follow by the discussion of Taiwanese culture and Thai culture in comparison and contrast. In the end of the essay, I will propose some of the ways I believe can help to cope with some of Thais cultural shocks. When looking at a broad picture of Thai nation, one can easily identified that Thai is a agricultural society. Rice is what Thai people eat on the daily basis. Yet, Thailand is one of the world biggest exporters in rice product. There is also a saying in Thailand that, â€Å"Farmer is the backbone of the nation.† Here, farmers is not actually the ‘backbone’ or the physical backbone of Thai nation, but backbone in this phrase metaphor the crucial organ in the person body to survive. This shows that Thailand rely heavily on agriculture product and activities. Believe and activities in relation to the agricultural background of Thais, including worshiping â€Å"Pra-mae-po-sop† (Goddess of R... ...s to show friendliness. It is as though strangers are accepted as member of the kin group. Since I am a Taiwanese living in Thailand for so many year, I know some of the ways to cope with these cultural shocks. Here, I would like to suggest you can handle cultural shock in Thai culture. People of different culture may had experience frustration, confusion, tension, or even embarrassment when encounter with another culture. There are two choices you can to can choose from: one is try to observe, listen, inquire which can result in understanding . Another is criticize, rationalize, and withdraw which can result in alienation and isolation. However, some may choose other alternatives such as by gathering information and learn about new culture as much as possible. Second, is to make socio-cultural adjustments. And third is adapting , sharing, experiencing and enjoy.

Monday, January 13, 2020

In the Lake of the Woods Essay Essay

â€Å"In the Lake of the Woods† is a non-linear novel by Tim O’ Brien that consists of the themes trauma and insecurity. The protagonist of the text, John Wade is driven into insanity due to his fear of losing the love of his life, Kathy. Throughout the novel, john Wade’s secrets are exposed to the world, this being the reason that ended his career as a politician, which was the final push towards his madness. Wade was not only affected by his shattering moment in his career, but his childhood and experiences of war in Vietnam left him traumatized and feeling unworthy of love. John begins to crave love at an early stage I his life, after he meets Kathy he develops an obsession for her and becomes dependent on her love. He faces many issues with Kathy, trust being the main one; this could potentially be the reason for John’s breakdown of sanity. Although Kathy played a large role in his life and downfall, there was a whole other range of factors that took p art in his fall to insanity. John Wade started off his career with a goal in mind, to become something important in the political world. As he progressed through his career, he became aware of the fact that his past could ruin what he was currently building. Wade, as a child learnt to deal with his problems by bottling them up and pretending nothing had happened â€Å"this could not have happened. Therefore it did not† John believes that if he lies to himself, and continuously blocks out memories of his dirty past, he would be safe from the secrets. His method did not serve to his likings, as his secrets were exposed to the world despite John’s lies to himself. The secrets of his partaking in the massacre of â€Å"Thuan Yen† were exposed during his election, which proved to be a â€Å"career ender†. John used his career as a politician to gain the love and affection he so deeply desired. Growing up, he didn’t receive the love he craved, â€Å"you show me a politician and Iâ₠¬â„¢ll show you an unhappy childhood.† John losing the election was essentially the loss of his source of love and his sense of power and control. This potentially drove John into insanity. As a child, John Wade suffered. He loved his father but didn’t receive any affection in return. His father continuously teased john, referring to him as â€Å"jiggling john†. This makes John feel that if his own father could not love him, then he was unworthy of love itself. At the young age of fourteen, John’s father committed suicide. This traumatized john and led to his â€Å"desire to kill† the night of his fathers funeral. He wanted â€Å"to kill his father for dying† John was clearly angered by his father’s death, but instead of venting his anger in a healthy way, he pretended it didn’t happen, â€Å"It was pretending, but the pretending helped†. As John grew older he enrolled with the army to fight in the Vietnam War. He was registered with a group called â€Å"Charlie company† Unfortunately, John was involved in the massacre of â€Å"thuan yen†, where he witnessed murder, torture and had a first hand experience in taking two lives, one being his mate PFC weatherby. This came back to John as nightmares and flashbacks. He tried to forget and pretend it didn’t happen but it all came back to him during his slumbers, the memories and guilt wil l always be with john, in some way. The failed politician met Kathy in â€Å"the autumn of 1966† at the university of Minnesota. John’s obsession is evident from the very moment he meets Kathy. He is in love with her, and the â€Å"trick† is to â€Å"make her love him and never stop†. John treats life as a magic show, growing up, magic was his only friend, it gave him a sense of power, happiness and was the only thing going right in his life, as an adult John continues to use tricks to solve all of his problems. John, in a sense, manipulates Kathy and develops a fixation on her and doesn’t stop at anything to find out everything about her life. His urgency comes from fear; he doesn’t want to lose her. After his father committed suicide and in a way, abandoned John, he feels that at any moment Kathy can just get up and leave. Kathy had a tendency to â€Å"simply vanish†. She is â€Å"fiercely independent† which intimidated john because he felt that Kathy was too go od for him. John genuinely loves Kathy, but the way he represents their love is alarming; he compared their love to a pair of snakes he’s seen along a trail near Pinkville, â€Å"each snake eating the other’s tail, a bizarre circle of appetites that brought the heads closer and closer† â€Å"That’s how our love feels†. This image, along with his desire â€Å"crawl inside her belly indicates a love that is both obsessive and destructive. His need to control and ‘consume’ Kathy dictates how his obsession for his wife leads to the loss of his sanity. Although John’s fear of losing Kathy is a main part of his downfall, there is a whole range of factors that lead to his mental breakdown. His fear of losing his wife all trails back to his childhood, where his first traumatizing experience takes place. When the fourteen year Old’s father died, he was not hurt in a ‘normal’ way, It seems almost as if john missed the concept of having a father figure rather then his actual father. This becomes clearer when john remembers an idolized and great version of his father unlike the real one, who was â€Å"continuously teasing† John and suffered from alcoholism. John begins his life of pretence from this moment on thinking the pretending â€Å"would help†. As Wade develops into an adult, his ways never seem to change. During his time served in the Vietnam War, John is better known as â€Å"sorcerer† because of his magic tricks and deceit to the rest of his fellow soldiers. John, having started ma gic from a young age, continues to use it in his adulthood, providing him with a sense of control and power and during the time was fulfilling his craving for love. John takes part in a horrific act of massacring in â€Å"Thuan yen† where he kills two human lives, and watches his fellow soldiers in â€Å"Charlie company† murder numerous people. This comes back to traumatize and haunt John, as Post traumatic stress disorder tends to do, it came back as flashbacks and nightmares. His infatuation with Kathy was a major part in John’s demise; however, the various other components in the novel prove to have had an effect on his sanity.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Political And Political Ethics Of A Democratic Society

Political Ethics- When do the Ends Justify the Means? It is without argument a fact that our society is ethically flawed. We are plagued by inequality, injustice, selfishness and hatred. Politicians are pioneers of change, who strive to correct these ethical flaws. It is their job to guide our society towards a more just, ethical place. There are varying schools of thought regarding how politicians can obtain the necessary power to improve the political ethics of a society. Some argue that politicians should be models of the political ethics they seek, and must go about obtaining political power in a morally correct and just way. They argue that the means of obtaining influence is just as important as the influence to create change itself. Others argue that the means with which politicians go about obtaining power is less important than the fact that they acquire the necessary power to ethically improve the society. In the mission to create a positive change in a democratic society, politicians must accept the second school of thought and reject the idea of personal political ethics until they reach the position of power in which they can create change. During the initial stages, obtaining the necessary power for transformation is more important than the process in which it is obtained. Between the political philosophers of Socrates, Rousseau, and Machiavelli, the third preaches these ideas, which are the most likely to inspire political change. After detailing theShow MoreRelatedDemocracy And The Australian Political System Essay1627 Words   |  7 Pagesproduced in the Australian political system to created a fair society, however it is ironically produced by non-democratic and democratic instruments. 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Saturday, December 28, 2019

Data Analysis And Data Of Data - 3069 Words

Executive Summary Big Data is garnering great recognition for its data-driven decision making methodology. Right from data acquisition where there is a flood of data available, we need to make effective decisions about usage of data. Privacy, scalability, complexity and timeliness are the problems that hinder the progress of Big Data. Today, most of the data available is not obtained in a structured format; therefore data transformation for analysis is a major objection. Data integration is also a critical aspect since most of the data is generated in a digital format. It is a challenge to establish linkage of data. Analyzing data, retrieving it and organizing it to suit our business needs is a crucial part of Big Data Analytics (BDA).†¦show more content†¦Big Data has many challenges and opportunities associated with it, which necessitates us to rethink on aspects such as data management in order to attain desirable outputs. The next generation of BDA lies in its data manag ement and its associated systems, principles and platforms. This will indeed make Big Data in creating a new wave of technological advancements. We believe that BDA will play a huge role in US economy for many years to come. However, Data analysis can be tough without proper direction. If properly directed, Big Data impact can not only be seen through scientific advances, but it can lay the ground work for next generations to come for growth in the fields of business, science, and medicine. Introduction Big Data Analytics is the process of analyzing large amounts of raw information generated and stored. In today s fast paced technologies, we are inundated with in a tsunami of data before us. All applications, in a broader range are depending on data in a remarkable way. BDA is driving almost every field in our society from Retail, Manufacturing and Mobile applications to life and physical sciences. The Data Analytics techniques are performed to uncover hidden patterns, unknown corre lations and other useful information. Earlier, Data Analytics were based on guessing and inaccurate data models but currently this can be done directly. Big Data has truly revolutionized scientific research (Computing Research Association 2014). Let us illustrate

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Hero Archetypes and Epic Conventions in the Odyssey and...

Hero Archetypes and Epic Conventions in The Odyssey and Beowulf It is remarkable how closely one can compare two epics that have such diverse and unique historical and cultural backgrounds. A Greek poet named Homer wrote The Odyssey sometime from BC 1400-900 during the Mycenaean Period. The epic preceding The Odyssey, called The Iliad, revolves around Achilles, the hero of the commonly known Trojan Wars. The Odyssey is a continuation of The Iliad and deals with Odysseus, another hero of the Trojan Wars, who has been on a quest to reach his family in Ithaca for ten years and is continuously hampered by various trials. Odysseus is believed by many to have been a much-loved Mycenaean king (Milch 67-68). Beowulf, on the other hand, does not†¦show more content†¦They have seen my strength for themselves, Have watched me rise from the darkness of war, Dripping with my enemies blood. I drove Five great giants into chains, chased All of that race from the earth. (Raffel 171-177) Beowulf claims, That I, alone and with the help of my men, may purge all evil from this hall, (Raffel 187-188). This constant emphasis on the prevailing can also be seen in phrases such as, I had chosen to remain close to his side. I remained near him for five long nights, (Raffel 263) and the dramatic, My purpose was this: to win the good will of your people or die in battle, pressed in Grendels fierce grip, (Raffel 354). Beowulf, unlike Odysseus, uses brute force to accomplish his goals. Intelligence and wit are prominent in The Odyssey, while in Beowulf, raw strength can be seen during his conflict with Grendel. He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke. The battle was over... (Raffel 468-470). This overwhelming emphasis on violence is found in its Christian roots of martyrdom. Beowulf cites his causes for vanquishing evil here, ...[Beowulf] had driven affliction off, purged Herot clean. He was happy, now, with that n ights fierce work; the Danes had been served...Beowulf, a prince of the Geats, had killed Grendel, ended the grief, (Raffel 478-483). Ongoing quests of destruction lead Beowulf to forfeit his own life so the lives of others can be saved. He