The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
held its 43rd Annual General Meeting on the 11th of September, 2019 at the Export Trade House.
The theme for the event was “Digitising the Ghanaian Economy for a Competitive Edge in a Globalised Markets”.
Nana Dr. Appiagyei Dankawoso I, President of the Chamber in his welcome address, spoke on the successful activities the Chamber undertook in 2018, the ongoing projects, Economy, and the Banking and Finance Sector in Ghana.
He noted that the private sector cannot operate in a weak financial environment and on behalf of the Chamber commended the Bank of Ghana for taking the necessary steps to restore the health and resilience of the financial sector.
He also gave credit to the private sector for the percentage of annual growth which increased from the lowest point of 2.44% in February 2018 to 17.3% in September 2018.
Hon. Alan K. Kyerematen, minister for trade and industry who was the guest speaker, in his remarks, highlighted the challenges the business industries in Ghana faces and also presented some initiatives that the government was working on to tackle the challenges.
He said the Government has introduced a new framework to be able to create the institutional support for the private sector.
He spoke on the creation of the National Coordinating Office at the AFCFTA to coordinate all needed support and information for businesses and highlighted the need for Ghanaian businesses to take advantage of the Agreement.
He explained that the structural transformation the country sought to have would not occur unless it was linked with the transformation of the African continent.
Mr. Kyerematen then said that one of the reasons why African countries remain poor while being the richest continent was because the markets are fragmented, and as a result the importance of the AFCFTA.
He said the African Union Heads of State came out with some programmes that could assist countries to take full advantage of the Agreement, which include; a favourable trade policy, programme to enhance the capacity of local businesses and industries, and adequate trade related infrastructure.
He noted that the government has identified the need to make trade information readily accessible on what every African country could sell to the other and the need to ensure trade facilitation in the form of enhancing the movement of goods and services across ports, rail and road networks.
He emphasised that the country took the lead in signing the protocol for free movement of persons within African countries to ensure the effective management of persons across the borders, adding that, the Government would work together with private sector to provide the needed support in the areas aforementioned.
He articulated that a private sector that would efficiently manage resources and people and increase product quality and branding to increase customer base will be required to reap the benefits associated with the AFCFTA.
He then urged the private sector to ensure an effective e-commerce and that the AFCFTA was going to be major game changer in corporate practice because it was the single most important thing that would attract more investment to Africa.
The key note speaker Mr. Serlom Adadevoh, CEO of MTN Ghana, who was represented by Mr. Samuel Koranteng, mentioned that Ghana has made significant progress in digitizing the economy with the ongoing efforts around identifying people with the Ghana Card, locating people with a property address and modernizing the Ghanaian payment system with a strong financial inclusion drive.
He also said Ghana’s tech start-up ecosystem is growing rapidly with the emergence of a new generation of tech entrepreneurs and increasing funding from keen private investors.
He added that, according to the GSMA Mobile Connectivity Index at the end of 2018, Ghana together with South Africa, Cape Verde, Kenya And Mauritius are the only top countries on the African continent leading as transitioners.
There was a mini trade and exhibitions for members and other businesses to showcase their products for free at the 43rd General Annual Meeting. A set-up was made at the event location where business owners were given the platform to showcase their products.