Business Development Minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has charged founders of companies to have a good succession plan in order to sustain their various businesses after they exit.

In his address at the third Ghana Business Awards on Friday, the Minister noted that only 15 per cent of businesses in the country survive after their owners have either retired or passed away.

This, he said, derails government’s aim to make the country’s economy one of the strongest in Africa because numerous investments in a company die out a few years after its owners withdraw from the helm of affairs.

“It is so sad that out every 100 businesses, only 15 goes to the next generation, the other 85 collapse. So the owners must now plan; if you have a business do not wait till you are old.

“From day one start thinking of who will succeed you; whether it is your relative, your son or daughter, and start training them.

“Give them the skills and values that made you succeed so that when you are not there they will continue with it,” he said.

He added, “You don’t wait and when you are about leaving you hand it over to anyone. You must plan, train, and groom your successor, so that they can continue with the objectives you have set to make the business succeed.”

Dr Awal also urged businesses to take advantage of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) headquartered in Ghana to expand their market.

“Ghana is holding the secretariat of AFCTA, 1.2 billion people and $3.3 trillion in terms of trade and investment. Ghana cannot be a mere participants, we must train our people, innovatively so that our products do not only meet local demand but can compete globally,” he stated.

On his part, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Christopher Lamora said although the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the growth of some businesses this year, it is the wish of the United States of America to see businesses in the country flourish.

He also commended all awardees on the night for their exceptional work to improve Ghana’s economy.

A total of 72 awards were presented to companies and personalities for their excellent work at the awards night. This saw, founder of the Fidelity Group, Edward Effah was pronounced the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Decade.

Jospong Group of Companies’ founder, Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong was also adjudged the Entrepreneur of the Decade.

Gold Fields Ghana’s Chief Executive Officer, Alfred Baku emerged as the CEO of the Year (Private Sector), whilst, Dr Ben K.D Asante of Ghana National Gas Company was declared CEO of the Year (Public Sector).

Vodafone Ghana picked the award for Brand of the Year, whereas Ecobank Ghana won the Company of the Year Award.

Romeo Richlove Kweku Seshie-Quick Credit and Investment Micro-Credit Limited picked the SME of the Year Award and MKCL Mining Company took the Promising Company of the Year Award.

 The Ghana Business Award is a highly renowned programme that recognises and rewards businesses for their excellence across all sectors of the country.