Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industry (AGI), has called on members to develop proper governance structures to enable them benefit from the various interventions the Association was offering.
He said some members had lost out on many international agency programmes for development and even national programmes because their business systems did not support the requirements of such programmes.
Mr Akwaboah said, “It hurts me that after struggling to negotiate and bring in some of these interventions, our members are not able to benefit because, along the line of requirements, they lacked the basic things”.
He, therefore, encouraged them to be ready through the institution of basic organisational structures to make them ready for such opportunities.
He was speaking during the 18th annual general meeting of the Association for the members of the Western and Central branches on the theme: “Repositioning Local Industries to Leverage the African Continental Free Trade”.
Mr Akwaboah underscored the need for members to also pay attention to business governance as the AGI had introduced the Enterprise Resources Programme to develop a software that would track inventory, human resources and financial prowess of registered members to enable them benefit more.
He reminded them of the AGI’s role in creating an enabling business environment and the requisite technical support, adding, “if we are enjoying a stable business environment… remember that some of us are working behind the scenes with government to ensure that”.
Mr Joseph Garbrah, the Regional Vice Chairman of the Association, noted the impact of COVID-19 on business and advised them to scale up efforts and energies to accelerate the industrialisation drive of the economy.
He also called for more government support to build local capacity to expand and employ.
The members were taken through, ‘Npunntu’, a new software to register and create a proper database on member businesses.
Hajia Hamanatu Abubakar, the Regional Director of the Ghana Free Zones Authority who spoke on the theme, called on AGI members to rebrand to stand the test of competition as customer lifetime value was crucial for loyalty and sustained businesses.
The Director of Regional Free Zones said achieving organisational goals through the needs and wants of the target market, “invest in research and development for the dream of AfCTFTA…invest also in ICT and improve all activities on the value chain”.
Hajia Abubakar also spoke on the need for innovation that was crucial to business differentiation.
She however bemoaned the lack of funding sources as key limiting factors and called on financial institutions to assist businesses, particularly SMEs.
Mr Humphrey Kwesi Ayim-Darke, AGI Vice President responsible for SME described the Annual General Meetings as nerve centres for the association to engage for the betterment of Ghana as a community.
He praised the members for doing great despite the COVID-19.
Mr Ayim-Darke recounted how the support from NBSSI and the need for real data was becoming a hindrance to accessing support, adding that 85 per cent operated in the SMEs and the practical need to enhance structures, “we will continue to engage, accelerate the implementation of good business policies and other industrialisation initiatives well intended to create jobs”.
The Vice President hinted at the number of support both local and international and the call for preparation, repositioning for those opportunities.
He said the signs of business recovery was admirable despite some issues with government policies, an example “is the benchmark, cost of power, VAT, inflation, we are still engaging with the government”.
The Association, he said, would also open up to the Eastern Bloc; Asian and other such markets for opportunities.
Members who have distinguished themselves in the year under review were awarded. -GNA