By: Jones Anlimah
Ghana’s Targeted Review Mission from the African Peer Review Mechanism Governing Council has held a stakeholders engagement with Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as MMDAs at Ho the Volta regional capital with focus on Corporate Governance as a catalyst to the Implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA.
One major challenge identified as a bane to the growth of Small and Medium Scale businesses in the region was the lack of formal business structures.
The Targeted Review sought to identify governance gaps to improve corporate governance policies and standards to harness the benefits of the implementation of the AfCFTA in the country. The interaction was to examine Ghana’s corporate governance structures and regulations to help strengthen the government’s effort to promote good corporate governance standards and practices.
It also sought to enhance the regulatory framework and environment for ease of doing business by companies, especially Small and Medium scale Enterprises and also to find out from stakeholders in the region how businesses can benefit from trade opportunities available through the AfCFTA.
This is the second time Ghana has been reviewed since the establishment of the NAPRM about 20 years ago.
The Volta Regional Minister Dr. Archibald Letsa was hopeful that the engagement will help improve business environment and also shore up investment opportunities in the region. He assured of the commitment of the Regional Coordinating Council to promote a business-friendly environment in the region.
“We as a region collectively are ready and willing to provide the Target Review team with all the information required for the report that will lead to the appropriate policies that will help the MSME’s in our region to convert the vast talents and natural resources we are endowed with into exportable products and services that can be traded under the AFCFTA for wealth creation and the development of our people.” He noted.
Challenges raised by participants during the interaction included lack of funding, difficulty in business registration, inadequate education on AfCFTA and huge duty charges among others.
In an interview with Gbcnews, a member of the Target Review team and Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Richard Quayson, called on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to put in place formal structures to help sustain their businesses and boost their reach and customer base.
“Primarily we are doing this exercise because we want to position the country to be able to take full advantage of its hosting of the AFCFTA Secretariat in Ghana. This exercise is to look at some of the weaknesses in our corporate governance system within the Trade industry and strengthen them so that our businesses can fully benefit from the Trade agreement” he added.
The outcome of the engagement is expected to improve and increase cross-broader trade, increase access to capital flow, increase productivity, and innovation, and help optimize trade opportunities in the implementation of the AfCFTA in the country.