A 2018 Bloomberg report indicated that Ghana's economy soared at its fastest rate in the past five years.
Regrettably, challenges within the country’s private sector remain. According to some small and medium-sized business owners, they face serious hurdles when they attempt to do simple tasks like registering their businesses or obtaining work permits.
“When this happens, you will see that people fold up and move to other countries,” said Eric Osei-Assibey, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs and Associate Professor at the University of Ghana.
To find solutions to these problems, The Multimedia Group has partnered with the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER) to launch the Business Environment Enablement Project (BEEP), a mission to bring public awareness to the local government and business agencies in Ghana. The project is funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
“This is a very important program,” said Osei-Assibey. “The private sector is a major stimulus of economic growth and with the help of the government, we can create more revenue and programs.”
BEEP’s intention is to strengthen the relationship between the private sector and economic agencies through the country like the GRA and the Registrar General. Doing so will avoid local businesses from wanting to do business abroad, thus sinking Ghana’s economy, he noted.
Over 86% of employed Ghanaians are in the informal sector, he added. “It shouldn’t take more than five days to license your business, but sometimes it can take years. Ghana has shown progress, but we lag behind other countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Togo.”
ISSER Director Felix Asante says he is excited to see what transpires with BEEP. The programme, he said, will be “very key to get us toward a Ghana Beyond Aid, and we are hoping the feedback will implement change in the sector to mobilize revenue.”
In 2015, The Multimedia Group partnered with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development to launch BEEP. Since then, both parties have effectively ramped efforts to galvanize discussions around private sector investments and sustainable growth.
Last month, key stakeholders of the British High Commission and The Multimedia Group convened at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra to announce that starting in February, Joy News, Joy FM, Adom TV, Adom FM would launch an hour-long, bi-weekly on-air conversation surrounding one of the following four topics:
1) Commercial Courts: Assessment of small claims procedures and pre-trial conference.
2) Customs: Assessment of the new paperless systems of clearing imports at Ghana Ports in Tema and Takoradi.
Key stakeholders at BEEP’s unveiling ceremony last month
3) Tax: Assessment of the effectiveness of the Total Revenue Integrated Processing System (TRIPS) in tax administration in Ghana.
4) Business Registration: Assessment of business registration process for business start-ups.
“We engage the public to demand that there are reforms in business administrative agencies, said Nana Osei-Bonsu, CEO of Private Enterprise Foundation, adding that “so at least we can get a better World Bank ranking from 102 to 46 in 2019.”
Trade Advisor for the Department of International Development, Nana Frempongmaa Arhin, said that she is enthusiastic about the partnership between her agency and Ghana and “we hope that you will have honest and frank debates about how we can change Ghana.”
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