Businesses need to redefine their strategies to reposition them for future growth in these challenging times, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
To this end, he said, businesses must adhere to good corporate governance practices, efficiently deploy scarce capital and adopt technology driven skills for business development and operations.
President Akufo-Addo stated this in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister for Public Enterprises, Samuel Cudjoe, at the 11th Ghana Economic Forum held in Accra on Tuesday.
It was organised by the Business and Financial Times and sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation, GCB Bank Plc, and KPMG.
It was on the theme “Building a Robust and Resilient Economy through Technology, Finance, Investment, Trade and Entrepreneurship.”
President Akufo-Addo said businesses also must take advantage of demographics, value and changes in technology, and identify new opportunities, indicating that though the COVID-19 had a serious effect on businesses, it had also spawned a lot of business opportunities which businesses must harness for their growth.
He said technological innovation, for example, could enhance agricultural productivity through the use of Geographic Information System to undertake precision farming.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would continue to improve access to finance for the business sector.
“We will continue to provide strong policy support to firm up growth recovery and economic revitalisation. All these policies and structural reforms aim to reposition and improve business competitiveness for future growth and enable businesses to leverage emerging opportunities such as the African Continental Free Trade Initiative,” he said.
The Executive Director in charge of Wholesale and Investment Banking of GCB Bank Plc, Mr Sam Aidoo, chaired the programme, and said his outfit was proud to sponsor the programme, which had assembled experts and captains of industry and entrepreneurs, to proffer solutions to the country’s economic challenges.
He said the 2022 financial year had been a challenging one as the COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine have had devastating impact on the economy.
Mr Aidoo said the recovery efforts that started in 2021 were beginning to show green shoots of revival, and 2022 promised a continuation of that good story, indicating that domestic and external shocks over the years had rekindled pre-existing structural macro fiscal vulnerabilities that have yet again tested Ghana’s economic resilience.
“We should never allow such a serious crisis to go to waste. As Ghanaians were are faced with a glaring opportunity to pull together in a bid to restructure economy from a service driven one, and instead build a robust and resilient one through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship,” he said.
Dr Daniel McKorley, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MCDan Group, in his remarks, said though the economy was going through challenges, “it is not all doom and gloom.”
He said technology and the AfCFTA provided opportunity for businesses to harness to enhance their growth.
“AfCFTA has signaled the latest opportunity amidst all of Africa’s adversities,” Dr McKorley, said.
The CEO of the Business and Financial Times, Dr Godwin Acquaye, said there was the need for collaboration among stakeholders to address the challenges facing the economy.
He said the fast depreciation of the cedi was exacerbating the already difficult economic situation and hardship.
Dr Acquaye indicated the GEF was to come out with solutions and suggestions to the current difficulties facing the country.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE