Agriculture is the leading sector that benefited from the $48 million invested in the last 16 years by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund).
Of the total amount invested, 45 per cent went to agriculture while service and industry benefited 36 per cent and 19 per cent respectively between 2004 and 2020.
The fund provided over 1,100 grants worth US$48 million to strengthen the advocacy capacity of various private sector organisations (PSOs) and farmer-based organisations (FBOs) across the sixteen regions in the country.
End of project
This was made known at an end of project event on February 18 in Accra, meant to share the fund’s impact on the Ghanaian private sector, achievements and lessons learnt with its stakeholders.
A Fund Manager of BUSAC Fund, Mr Nicholas Gebara, said the amount was invested to help stimulate and improve the country’s business environment.
“Between 2000 and 2020, the fund provided over 1,100 business advocacy grants to PSOs and FBOs in all the 16 regions of Ghana.
“Grants worth US$48 million were issued under all three phases of the programme,” he said.
He said some of the key policies and bills supported included Engineering Council Act, 2011 (Act 819), Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992), National Road Safety Authority Bill, Ghana Enterprises Agency Act, and Tree Crop Development Authority Act.
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Mr Gebara said the Fund was established more than a decade ago to enhance the advocacy capacity of the Ghanaian private sector.
"Over the years, we are happy to note that the support provided to business associations has developed their capacity to sustain policy dialogue at national and district levels.
"We are proud that our success stems from the fruitful dialogue between private sector organisations and the various ministries in particular the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI)," he said.
According to him, the Fund has received numerous acknowledgements of the relevance and contribution of its support by the government in particular MoTI and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) with whom it had close collaborations in the development of policies aimed at enhancing the business environment for private sector growth.
"The fund has reached a point where the support has evolved from mere advocacy activities to close public private dialogue, and as such we can proudly say that we have achieved our goals.
"It is time for us to allow the private and public sectors to work closely together and develop the policies and laws needed for the private sector to strive and grow," he said.
The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Tom Nørring, noted that the consistent and comprehensive support BUSAC Fund had provided to the advocacy efforts of private sector organisations throughout its lifespan creating a lasting impact.
That, he said, paved the way for the prosperous and self-confident Ghana that was needed to realise the government’s ambition of moving beyond aid.
“We will see and hear many examples of this today, so please allow me to highlight just a few that have significantly improved the conditions for private sector manufacturing in Ghana.
“Firstly, I will like to say that BUSAC’s support in 2016 for the Association of Ghana Industries’ (AGI) advocacy for a review of multiple taxes and regulations that impacted negatively on the cost of doing business for their members.
“The dialogue that the AGI was able to initiate with the support of BUSAC led to a number of tax reviews being announced by the government in the 2017 budget, providing an important step towards enhancing the competitiveness of Ghana’s manufacturing sector.
“Another example worth mentioning here is the advocacy efforts undertaken by the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), focused on streamlining the duty drawback process in Ghana,” he added.