The University of Ghana Business School Executive Development (UGBS-ED) on Tuesday, 23rd January, 2018, held a round table discussion in partnership with the Lagos Business School. Themed 'Doing Business in Ghana: Challenges and Opportunities', the discussion was held at the Graduate Campus of UGBS and was moderated by Dr. Raphael Odoom of UGBS, Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship.
In his welcome address, the Coordinator of UGBS-ED, Professor Kwesi Amponsah Tawiah said the purpose of the discussion was to bring together experts from industry and academics to explore entrepreneurship across the globe. He said there is the need to promote trade and business relations between African countries. Prof. Tawiah urged all participants to share knowledge for mutual benefits.
In facilitating the first part of the discussion, Professor Robert Ebo Hinson recounted how a popular local business collapsed due to its inability to delight customers due to lack of adequate research hence, advised investors to study new market trends before committing resources. He then introduced the first speaker for the session, Mr. Emmanuel Appiah of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who spoke on 'The Capital Market and the Opportunities in Ghana'. Mr. Appiah stated that the financial system of Ghana constitutes the security and capital markets which are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He added that there are also bank and non-bank financial sectors which are regulated by the Bank of Ghana, as well as the insurance industry, regulated by the National Insurance commission. Mr. Appiah mentioned that there are four chains of activities, trading, settlement, clearing and depository, that occur at the Ghana Stock Exchange. He was quick to explain that these are roles played by investment experts in the system. He therefore reiterated the importance of financial research for prospective investors in the financial system.
Madam Evelyn Nyarko of the Investor Services Division at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) was the next to present. She said the GIPC aims at promoting, coordinating and facilitating investment in the Ghanaian economy. She dispelled the notion that the GIPC is only for foreign investors and reiterated that the centre caters for both domestic and international investors. She revealed that the centre provides among other things, investment advisory services, joint venture facilitation, identification of specific projects for investment promotion, and provision of investor services.
The first speaker for the second session, Dr. Samuel Buame spoke on the topic 'Doing Business with Entrepreneurs in Ghana'. He began by admonishing foreign investors interested in investing in Ghana to clearly identify their agenda. This he said will 'make the vision clearer and easy to attain'. He said Ghana's three ultimate goals are to raise the living standards of citizens, improve upon the standard of living and ensure the safety and security of citizens. Dr. Buame also added it is important for entrepreneurs to be abreast with the laws and statutes of the country within which they operate since they are regulated by these laws. He made reference to industry specific laws which he said must be at the fingertips of foreign investors. He concluded by underscoring the need to pay taxes deligently. Potential investors were also advised to develop additional soft skills.
Dr. Lord Mensah spoke on 'Investment Opportunities in Ghana' with focus on the agricultural environment. He began by hinting that business cannot be dissociated from policy because policies of the day determine the businesses that will boom. He projected that the agricultural sector can employ over 48% of Ghana's labour force and that until 2004, agriculture was one of the major contributors to Ghana's economic growth. This he opined is the reason why the current government's policies are linked to agriculture. Dr. Mensah explained that for the manufacturing sector to thrive, it must be fed with raw materials from the agricultural sector.
There was a practical session which gave an opportunity to some Ghanaian and Nigerian entrepreneurs to share their experiences. Mr. Alex Akpabli represented Daasco Group, Mr. Michael Agyekum represented Mikaddo Holding and Mr. Zibrim Yamusa represented BWP. Others were Mr. John Arachie of Benejaf International Limited and Mr. Alexander Akaahs of Farmsmart.
There was an opportunity for the questions of participants to be addressed.
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