Following the 2020 Elections of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and industry,
the new National Executives of the GNCCI paid a courtesy call on the Minister for Business Development on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, to formally introduce themselves to the latter, strengthen ties with the Ministry and discuss the GNCCI Business Pulse.
In his initial remarks, the President of the GNCCI, Mr. Clement Osei-Amoako, on behalf of the new National Executives, extended the compliments of the Chamber to the representatives of the Minister, Dr. Alhaji Hafiz Adam (Chief Director) and Nana Osafo Kantanka (Advisor to the Minister), and expressed their gratitude for the acceptance of the call.
He indicated that the Chamber had over 6000 members, most of whom are Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(MSMEs). As a result, fortifying ties with the Ministry was of utmost importance to the Chamber due to the immense benefits private businesses derive from the initiatives of the Ministry.
Dr. Alhaji Hafiz Adam in response indicated that the Ministry, whose primary focus is on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises(MSMEs), sought to address the unemployment situation in the country, especially of the youth, through Entrepreneurship. Referring to the Chamber as the World Bank of the Private Sector in Ghana, he stated that working together was going to be a great opportunity for the Ministry, seeing that both parties shared similar visions.
He enumerated some initiatives that the Ministry had taken to achieve its aim of a sustainable, a business-friendly, an entrepreneurial and an innovative business environment, that fosters private sector-led investment and job creation. These include; Presidential Business Support, Presidential Pitch, Women Entrepreneurs Initiative, Student Entrepreneurship Initiative, Zongo Business Initiative among others. He went on to disclose the Ministry’s intent to launch a new entrepreneurship initiative called “Work Study”. This program will attach 2nd and 3rd year students of the various Universities to industry, whiles in school, so that by the time they will be done they will have acquired hands-on industry experience. He is positive that the Chamber will play a crucial role in this initiative, given that this is one of the areas the Chamber has its focus on.
Next to remark was the Special Advisor to the Minister, Nana Osafo Kantanka. He touched on two topics; the “For Better Business Together Initiative” and the “World Business Angels Fund.” The former, supported by the UNDP, was initiated to aid in economic recovery and strengthen the sustainability and resilience of businesses, in a more coordinated manner. The latter is an initiative to ease access to funds for businesses from start-up to scale-up to exit, with the ultimate goal of generating economic development and jobs. He urged the Chamber to take advantage of these opportunities to grow the Private Sector.
Another topic of discussion was the GNCCI Business Pulse. Mr. Mark Badu-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, explained that the Business Pulse measured the performance of companies over a specified period of time in the areas of growth, value, sustainability, resilience and stability. One of the findings, he said, revealed that SMEs were growth driven, thus, there is the need for proactive policy interventions to support smaller businesses to invest more of their growth currency and retained earnings for expansion towards greater value.
The Business Pulse also looks at the SME Policy Index, a tool that has been designed to gauge policy effectiveness on business performance and to foster policy dialogue among the SME policy stakeholders in Ghana. He affirmed that this index would greatly aid the Ministry in its quest to achieve its aforementioned aim.
To conclude the meeting, both parties shared words of encouragement, assurance, advice and appreciation, and pledged to render support to one another when called upon.