The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 46th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the Shipper’ House in Accra was a huge success!
The AGM which witnessed the election of the current National Executives (President: Mr. Clement Osei Amoako, 1st Vice President: Mrs. Victoria M. E. Hajar, 2nd Vice President: Mr. Stephane Miezan and the National Treasurer: Dr. Mrs. Emelia Assiakwa) was under the theme: “Ghana’s Cyclical Economic Crisis: Time for Bold Policies to Address the Economic Structure”
The President of the Chamber, Mr. Clement Osei-Amoako in his speech recounted some of the achievements of the Chamber in the year 2021 in its efforts to promote and protect commercial and industrial interests in the country and facilitate international trade. “The Chamber undertook several activities including, but not limited to, Capacity Building Workshops; Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings; Business tours; Business Advocacy; Trade Fairs, Exhibitions and Investment Missions; Export Development; and Trade Facilitation” he said.
He started that the Chamber championed and supported several government initiatives to accelerate growth in Ghanaian economy and build business resilience. In particular, the GNCCI’s evidence-based advocacy programmes, which shaped government policies and programmes to ensure a conducive business environment while providing the private sector with the requisite insight to build competitiveness and harness the opportunities.
Mr. Osei-Amoako also bemoaned the country’s current economic condition and the private sector’s concerns on the state of affairs of the Ghanaian economy. The rapid depreciation of the cedi against major foreign currencies, high interest rates, exorbitant fuel prices, high inflation and the policy rate which is heightening the cost of running business in the country. He added that, “The rising public debt, poor domestic revenue performance, balance of payment problems, high government expenditure, and lack of fiscal discipline resulting in credit rating downgrade and loss of external financing is worsening the country’s unstable economic outlook. This situation has created low confidence, speculation and unpredictability which is inimical to business growth and resilience”.
However, he commended the Ghanaian business owners for their courage and tenacity during these troubling times. He urged calm and assured the business community of the Chamber’s commitment to working with the government to control the situation.
Hon. Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry who spoke on behalf of the Minister Hon. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, challenged the private sector to take advantage of AfCFTA opportunities and position themselves to engage in a variety of businesses in the automobile value chain as Ghana develops its automotive industry. He urged the business community to bear with the government as it takes critical steps to address business challenges.
The CEO of the Ghana Free Zones Authority, Mr. Mike Ocquaye Junior on his part challenged Members of the GNCCI to partner one another to expand their business scope for increased profits. He took the opportunity to extend invitations to businesses to establish themselves under the Free Zones Scheme.
The Special Guest of Honour Dr. Nkechi S. Owoo, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Economics – University of Ghana, Legon, outlined Ghana’s economic challenges since independence and suggested solutions such as deepening the industrialisation drive, improving TVET education, and capitalising on AfCFTA opportunities, among others.
The event which brought together key stakeholders provided an update on the Chamber’s annual report and audited financial statements.