Enterprise Life, in partnership with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has held an Advantage Knowledge Forum as part of its commitment to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on businesses.
The event on the theme, “Building Business Agility and Growth for AfCFTA and the Post Covid-19 era”, put into perspective what the Ghanaian business community must do to ensure sustainability and growth in the pandemic.
Speaking at the event, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Enterprise Group, Keli Gadzekpo, charged businesses to react in agile and decisive ways to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“The magnitude and speed of change coming out of the pandemic has generated new forms of financial and operational risks as companies grapple with inflation, capacity constraints, and supply-chain disruptions,” he said.
He said it was now the time for businesses to reach out and seize the opportunities emerging in the recovery and build strategic resilience for the future.
Mr Gadzekpo said beyond its ground-breaking size, the AfCFTA promised to be a paradigm shift and a deeper commitment to integrating the continent by negotiating goods and services simultaneously.
The Group CEO said the agreement was a potential economic game-changer for Africa’s development not only because of its potential to enhance intra-African trade.
He said it would also allow countries in the region to competitively integrate into the global economy, reduce poverty and promote inclusion.
Also, the Accra Regional Chairman of AGI, Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, revealed that the Association had completed a comprehensive study on the impact of Covid-19 latter part of last year, and it showed over 80 per cent of its members have been affected by the pandemic.
He said they were fortunate for the government to relieve industry by providing the stimulus for businesses affected by COVID-19.
He said the need for the Development Bank of Ghana to support industries was a great intervention for industrial growth.
He said as a leading private-sector advocate in the country; they would continue to engage government and all stakeholders on issues that affected industries.
Mr Akpeloo said the Association would develop programmes and systems to scale up members to compete globally, and “we will engage various stakeholders on Advantage Knowledge Forum to find solutions.”
On AfCFTA, the AGI Accra Regional Chairman said it was important to develop a well-planned and deliberate strategy and combine entrepreneurial and industrial efforts to reap the benefits of AfCFTA.
For his part, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen, said government is committed to supporting the private sector.
He indicated that government has provided ¢750 million business support scheme to enterprise’s to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on MSMEs.
The Minister said the second phase was a medium-term Revitalization Phase from 2021-2023, focusing on industrialisation, affordable housing and digitalisation.
He noted that the programme would boldly enable the government to build up a better and greener business environment.
The Minister said the government looked to see additional collaborations and partnerships between the public and the private sectors to implement policy initiatives under the GhanaCares Programme.
Mr Adu-Boahen called on the private sector to buy into the programme and take advantage of the opportunities available.”This is because it clearly outlines government’s strategic priorities,” he added.