As the 5th month of the year begins, some business leaders have challenged government to take decisive steps to ensure sustainable growth across different sectors of the economy. According them, attention should be given to issues of credit, use of technology and environmental protection.
Residents and businesses in some parts of Accra, Sunyani, Wa, Kumasi, the Central and Northern Regions had to contend with difficulties associated with irregular power supply and a depreciating Cedi for much of the first three months of the year. A few weeks down the line and at the beginning of the fifth month of the year, the Cedi has stabilized at GHC 5 Cedis 2 pesewas on the interbank forex market while the power supply situation has gradually improved.
But for some business owners, government will have to focus on other troubling issues in addition to currency and power supply problems to ensure businesses across different sectors of the economy thrive.
The Director of business operations for Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson in an interview with Citi Business highlighted the issue of liquidity for small and medium sized enterprises as one that needs to be addressed.
“It’s easy to fix the banks, or however difficult it is they forget that the people who really lend to the masses of the people are Savings and Loans, Non-Banks, and Micro-finance Institutions who have been ignored up till now. They are facing a real liquidity crunch. If this problem is not fixed it will continue to be a trouble us.”
For Angela Mensah-Opoku the Director of Vodafone Business, funding for SMEs alone is not enough.
According to her, for the rest of the year, attention must be given to building the capacity of such businesses from a digital stand point.
“People’s point about funding the SMEs is one thing but I really think making sure we build capacity from a digital perspective is really key. We need to diversify and make sure we are using technology to improve how we interact with our customers, how we generate more revenue and how we help small businesses scale up.”
On his part, the Ambassador of Hungary to Ghana, András Szabó called on government and other stakeholders to pay attention to environmental pollution as it could affect the attractiveness of the country to investors if the situation gets out of hand.
“You beautiful and monuments among others, but if your beaches are not clean then we are not going anywhere. And I believe it’s time that we develop a lot of programs to raise the needed awareness and educate the people. Because if things get out of hand it will ruin everything.”
Ghana making reforms to improve Ease of Doing Business
The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the recently held 3rd German–African Business Summit here in Accra, revealed that the introduction of new reforms by the government should see Ghana make significant improvement on the World Bank’s ease of doing business list for 2019.
The 2018 World Bank report on Doing Business Ranking, saw Ghana move six places up from 120 to 114 out of 190 economies across the world.
While delivering his speech at the event, Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia mentioned that government is committed to creating an enabling environment for all investors across the world.
“It is very important that we are putting in place institution that will anchor macroeconomic stability. And I think this is important also for investors both domestic and foreign that you’re going to come into an environment which is relatively stable.”
The Vice president while acknowledging that Ghana has done well when it comes to the ease of doing business said, more will be done to improve Ghana’s position on the rankings in 2019.
“We’re working on some reforms which will help Ghana move forward when it comes to the ease of doing business.”