The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has urged government to do more to improve the business environment following the start of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
In a new year message to members, Greater Accra Regional Chairman Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, indicated that the Association has over the years, “enjoyed a good working relationship with successive governments.”
He expressed the hope that the cooperation with government will continue with a focus on empowering the private sector to become the hub of economic growth in Africa through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Mr. Akpeloo called on the government to continue to “earnestly pursue policies that will ease the business environment, reduce the cost of capital and financing, and remove all regulatory bottlenecks.”
He continued, “As businesses continue to manage the aftermath of COVID-19, we expect that Government will continue to bail out troubled businesses and provide stimulus packages to support efforts by businesses to bounce back.”
While the Association acknowledges the Akufo-Addo government’s support for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it calls for the speedy operationalization of the stimulus plan for larger businesses.
In the wake of COVID-19, Mr. Akpeloo entreated industry leaders to make their businesses agile to ensure quick and effective response to similar occurrences in future. “While we hope for the best,” he inspired, “we must prepare for the worst and develop strategies to overcome such situations should they ever happen.”
With Ghana hosting the Secretariat of AfCFTA, he encouraged the Ghanaian business community to position themselves and get ready to make Ghana the hub of African enterprise.
To achieve this, Mr. Akpeloo was of the view that businesses must “strengthen corporate governance systems, redefine models, and realign brands in order to remain competitive vis-à-vis the expected ease in movement of goods and services across borders, as a result of the removal or reduction of import tariffs on most goods and services produced in Africa.”
He wished his colleagues a happy and prosperous new year, urging them to remain hopeful and steadfast in the midst of uncertainty.