The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Peter Jones, says inadequate physical infrastructure is hampering the growth of Ghana’s private sector.
He noted that even though the Ghanaian economy was thriving in many ways, the private sector was facing constraints and challenges, including lack of information on external markets and poor infrastructure.
The British envoy was contributing to a discussion at a forum, on the theme “Strengthening state institutions for private-sector development,” in Accra yesterday.
The forum, which attracted high-profile personalities from the business community, was to mark the first anniversary of The Finder newspaper.
Discussants at the forum stressed the need for a deliberate government policy to strengthen state institutions in order to propel the private sector forward.
They have called on government to reinvigorate regulatory bodies, improve infrastructure and enhance the financial services sector to support the private sector as the engine of growth.
The other discussants were Prince Kofi Amoabeng, chief executive officer of UT Holdings, and Mrs Norkor Duah, president of the Advertisers Association of Ghana (AAG).
Speaking to the theme, Mr Peter Jones said the private sector will not be able to play its desired role without the support of state institutions.
“For the private sector to thrive, state institutions need to be strengthened to create an enabling environment to support them and offer them some levels of protection,” he said.
“The regular power outages place a burden on industry, especially the manufacturing sector, and although corporate taxes have been reduced, rising tax burdens in the form of levies, tariffs, import duties and local taxes are of great concern,” he said.
Mr Jones noted that private-sector development was the key to sustainable and inclusive growth in any economy.
“For the government of the United Kingdom, creating the right conditions for businesses to expand and grow is essential,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of UT Holdings, Prince Kofi Amoabeng attributed the weak conditions of state institutions to corruption and leakages.
He bemoaned the rise in indiscipline, which he said was eating up the social fabric of the Ghanaian society.
“Because we have allowed our structures to break down, the population is neither accountable nor responsible. The whole society has become corrupt,” he said.
Mr Amoabeng admonished prospective businessmen and entrepreneurs to make discipline and dedication their hallmark in order to be successful.
“If you want to venture into business, you should not take things lightly because it calls for dedication, wisdom and discipline, as The Finder newspaper has done over the last year,” he advised.
In her remarks, president of the AAG, Mrs Norkor Duah reckoned that technology and globalisation had caused a change in consumer behaviour and was informing consumer expectations in the marketing and advertising arena.
“An amazing array of innovation, creativity and sophistication of media is having a direct bearing on the trends that move the world.”
Chairman of the National Media Commission, Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere said he was impressed with The Finder’s focus on social and development issues, and its adherence to journalistic and high professional standards.
“All media, whether privately owned or state-owned, have a historic responsibility to abide by the core values of journalism – which are fairness, equity, accuracy and objectivity – in their reportage of political events in the coming weeks,” he said.
Source: The Finder
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