The Ashanti Region Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) has stressed its readiness to provide free legal assistance and advocacy for businessmen and women who will fall victim to extortion and other forms of discrimination and corruption in the country.
So far, the ALAC has resolved 243 cases, representing 75 per cent of the 322 total cases reported to the office between 2016 and 2020.
ALAC officer for the GII, Osei Bonsu Enin, who disclosed this mentioned that there were 79 cases, representing 25 per cent, pending.
He was addressing some selected journalists at a day’s training on digitisation and voluntary tax compliance in Kumasi.
Earlier, there had been training for members of the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs, the Association of Ghana Industries, Small and Medium scale Enterprises, the Federation of Kumasi Traders, the Ashanti Business Association, as well as Young women in business startups.
Topical among the issues highlighted were promoting voluntary compliance among women in business through sensitisation of the Digitisation of tax processes, promoting business integrity, the role of the media, the role of ALAC in fighting corruption in Ghana.
Participants were taken through how to deal with and protect women in Ghana business, the whistle blowers acts and techniques for identifying areas to tackle.
The workshop comes at a time MasterCard’s Index of women entrepreneurs (MIWE) indicated that women formed 46 per cent, almost half of Ghana’s entrepreneurs, placing the country among the top three countries with the highest percentages of women-owned businesses across 58 markets globally.
Again in 2019, MIWE revealed that at 46.4per cent, Ghana was producing more female entrepreneurs than any other country in the world.
Mr Enin charged Journalists to educate women who were into micro, small and medium enterprises on the importance of registering businesses to help them access loans without hindrances.
He urged the business community not to hesitate to call on the ALAC office for any assistance through their toll free call portals.
Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, Programmes manager, GII, noted business entities would have a field’s day dabbling in corrupt and unethical business practices “if the media remains unconcerned about their operations”.
He again appealed to the media to help educate women in business to understand the need for tax compliance.
Mr Kofi Adu Domfeh, News Editor, Multimedia Group, who facilitated the workshop, charged journalists to go beyond the usual; to begin probing critical issues robbing the country of huge sums of money.
“One of the things we need to look out for is being inquisitive. Begin to ask questions whether the businesses operating in that area are protecting the environment, polluting the environment or going by the ethics of good business integrity”.
“That is where we will have that skill of questioning which is the heart of investigation,” he indicated.
Programs Officer, GII’s ALAC, Petra Degraft Johnson, was optimistic the training would trickle down to the various markets and informal business settings with the help of the media.
FROM KINGSLEY E. HOPE, KUMASI