The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce traces its roots to the first Chambers established in the then Gold Coast, called the Gold Coast Chambers of Revenue. The first of it was formed on 10th January, 1850 by the Danes.
Prior to November 1961, there existed four main separate Chambers of Commerce operating independently of each other due to the different groups they represented. The Accra and Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce, Kumasi Chamber of Commerce, and the Sekondi/Takoradi Chamber of Commerce represented the expatriate firms while the Ghana Chamber of Commerce represented the interests of the indigenous business community across the country.
The first President of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, made efforts to amalgamate the four Chambers into one entity. In his broadcast to the nation on Sunday, 9th October, 1960, Dr. Nkrumah states the following:
“I now wish to say a word about Chamber of Commerce. There are at present two Chamber, one for Ghanaian interests and one for overseas. The Government considers that this situation is anomalous in a country which is opposed to discrimination in any form and I have therefore today issued directions that the Government will only recognize one Chamber of Commerce to represent all private interests in Ghana.”
Following the above broadcast, a Joint Working Committee was appointed to explore the possibilities of setting up a unified body with a common front to address the issues of its members. On the submission of the full report of the Joint Working Committee to the Government, the independent Chambers were consolidated into one national Chamber, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce by Executive Instrument (E.I. 196) by then Prime Minister of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on 8th November, 1961.
The first Officers of the Chamber were:
- Mr. Samuel Christian Appenteng - (President)
- Mr. P. R. Marriott - (Vice President)
- Mr. F. Obeng Benne - (Vice President)
- Mr. L. Bauer - (Honorary Treasurer)
The Coopted Members include the following with Mr. J. Charlton Tettey as the National Secretary:
- Mr. N. T. Clerk
- Mr. J. C. Lucas, OBE
- Mr. E. J. Brenya
- Mr. R. R. Ultshire
Seven years later, in 1968, the need arose to have a second look at the Executive Instrument to correct certain deficiencies that became evident in the implementation of the various clauses of the instrument. A Legislative Instrument (L.I. 611) of 11th December 1968 was therefore issued to cancel the clauses in the Executive Instrument which were found to be problem area in the implementation; duplication of functions and petty jealousies among the four Chambers of Commerce that existed. The amendment to Executive Instrument No. 196 was to correct certain deficiencies which became evident in its operation with the passage of time.
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce did and continue to receive the recognition of the various governments that have ruled the country up to date as well as Chambers of Commerce all over the world. In this connection, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah wrote the following as Preface for the Interim Report of the baby Chamber:
“The aim of Government’s trade policy is the rapid achievement of the following broad ends. Firstly, to maximize the foreign exchange earnings derived from our experts. Secondly, to utilize the available foreign exchange in the best interests of economic development. Thirdly, to secure reasonable protection for the industrial and commercial undertakings set up within the framework of our development programme. The achievement of these aims will depend to a large extent not only on the hard work and efficiency of the individual businessman and work, but also the imagination and expertise of many industrial and commercial organizations throughout the country. It is for this reason that the Government attaches such importance to your Chamber of Commerce”.