Business News of Tue, 1 Jul 20141
Ghana Free Zones Board wins Int. Award
The Ghana Free Zones Board, (GFZB) has been awarded the International Star for Leadership in Quality at the 2014 International Quality Awards organised by the Business Initiative Directions (BID). GFZB received a shield and a citation acknowledging its persistence at quality improvement in its facilitation of businesses in Ghana’s Free Zones enclaves.
Three other Ghanaian concerns, including Virtual Security Africa Ltd., a security solutions provider were also awarded at the event.
“We were recognised for making quality a core focus for continuous improvement in the delivery of services to ensure total quality management and thereby maintaining leadership in the sector,” Hajia Hanatu Abubakar, Investor Support Services Manager at the Ghana Free Zones Board, who attended the ceremony and received the award, told Graphiconline over the phone.
The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Palais des Congres Convention Hall, presided over by President and CEO of BID, Jose E. Prieto.
An excited Hajia Hanatu Abubakar said while it is refreshing that the GFZB’s desire to make its outfit a one-stop shop for business facilitation has attracted an international recognition, it is also a good motivation for the organisation not to rest on its oars.
“No, we cannot let our guard down, especially when it is not easy to quantify the services we provide in our quest to attract investments into the country, and more so when we do not have other outlets to engender competition, unlike Nigeria that has so many outfits competing with each other.”
“What we want to ensure is that the bureaucracy is reduced to the very minimum – from business registration, resident permits, work permits and the like, and we have other focused stakeholders whose collaborations have been very healthy, like the Ministry of Trade and Industry under which the GFZB is placed and the Environmental Protection Agency,” she said.
Established in 1995 and started operations in 1996, the GFZB promotes the processing and manufacturing of goods through the establishment of Export Processing Zones (EPZs) as well as encourage the development of commercial and service activities at sea- and air-port areas. There are 253 companies registered by the GFZB, employing 31,005 and an export value of US$23.92 billion.
The country’s rich natural resource endowment and her strategic location as a middle coastal belt within the West Africa sub-region with two sea ports to facilitate exports have been some of the attractions for investors, and according to Hajia Hanatu Abubakar, a lot of investment opportunities exist also in the energy sector for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), pointing out that investors need not look further than Ghana’s horizons to invest their funds. “Our stability and peace, underpinned by good democratic governance, are the assurances that investments are safe over here and we welcome good businesses.”
Other attractions are the recent oil discovery which can stimulate both upstream and downstream activities in the oil industry and the government’s policy to garner 10% of Ghana’s energy through renewable sources such as solar, wind and biomass by the year 2020.