By Eugene Davis
The Ghana Investment Promotion Agency (GIPC) has asked Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs) to go out of their way to back prospective investors and companies that risk their investment to come to the country to build industries.
According to GIPC, it cannot fulfill Ghana’s investment mandate alone without the insights, experience, and commitment of the MDAs.
Furthermore, the Agency recognizes that quality companies with an investment appetite are harder to find in a post-Covid world. Therefore, GIPC’s activities are aligned with the central government’s commitment to providing an enabling environment for businesses in a mutually beneficial way.
Mr. Edward Ashong-Lartey, Director at GIPC, in an address at the Investor Forum under the theme ‘The Contribution of MDAs Towards Making Ghana an Attractive Investment Location’ said “GIPC believes that eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks will enable our commercial partners to transform risks into opportunities. Therefore, we are working towards making Ghana a more attractive environment for businesses and not a hostile one. We urge MDAs to provide the necessary support to incumbents, the companies that risk their capital to come to Ghana to build industries.”
To achieve the centre’s objective of promoting and guiding foreign and local direct investments, they are keen to continually engage and obtain the tacit approval of colleagues across MDAs without using coercion or imposing its ideas on critical investor matters, Mr. Ashong-Lartey noted, adding it is essential to involve the MDAs insights, experience, and commitment.
He also urged the Metropolitans Municipals and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to position themselves well in order to woo potential investors to their districts.
“All Agencies whose activities have a bearing on investment implementation, we have engaged the private sector and other regulators in the past but the MMDAs- these are areas the investments are cited, they host the investment so we also need to bring them on board to explain the need to be ready for these investments, how to facilitate so they get a good experience in terms of the roll out of the investment.
One reason we called this meeting is to share what the Business Regulatory Reform (BRR) programme has done since its inception in 2017. A lot has been done to improve the business environment, this is a journey we have embarked on, so we need the support of all to make sure that at the end of the day, we would have a friendly business environment,” he added.
Investor Grievance Mechanism
Mr. Ashong-Lartey also disclosed that in collaboration with the World Bank, the GIPC is also establishing an Investor Grievance Mechanism to provide early detection for investor challenges and disputes. This will be done in collaboration with MDAs across sectors.
“This is a system we are going to set up to get early warning signals to make sure that investors can also communicate this to us through our online portal -this will be an opportunity for those who have concerns but don’t want to come forward to let us know some of these well ahead of time so together with the agencies here we can help resolve them,” he said.
Sefakor Fummey, the focal person, Local Economic Development, called for stronger collaboration between the Assemblies and the private sector in order to boost and consolidate local business environment.
“ we want to create enabling environment for businesses to grow and most especially the sustenance of businesses because that is what brings the economic benefit we are all talking about and improvement in livelihoods, we are looking forward to having businesses connecting with us, sharing our medium term plans with them for institutions with Corporate Social Responsibility package to look through it and see in which areas they can collaborate, which of the interventions fall in line with their plans so at the end of day, we have a win-win situation.”
Diana Afriyie Addo, Head, Business Regulatory Reforms, Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) urged the business community and MDAs to acquaint itself with the Business Regulatory Reform portal as it promises lots of benefits.
“If you want to register your company and you don’t know where to go and whom to contact, it becomes difficult to register the company , so if you make reform and you also do automation, it is going to help all of us, that you don’t need to go through anybody to get the service done , so that is why it is very crucial for us to do the reform that we need to do and automate where necessary to make the service delivery efficient to the private sector. For the Fire Service, by the end of the year it is going to be operational.”