The 17th Ashanti Business and Financial Services Excellence Awards and the 6th Ashanti Business Leaders Excellence Awards, have been organised jointly in Kumasi under the auspices of the Manhyia Palace.
The ceremony, which was organised recently, honoured business entities, financial institutions and captains of business and industry who were deemed to have made outstanding contributions to the economic development of Ashanti.
According to Mr Isaac Dakwa, Director of Top Brass Ghana, organisers of the awards, the occasion also was in commemoration of the 70th Birthday of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Kumasi Technical University, Prof. Osei-Wusu Achaw, chaired the ceremony.
In a speech read on his behalf by Nana Amponsah Kwan IV, Kwanwomahene, Otumfuo observed with regret that since the latter part of 2019 to date, the global environment had been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic which had impacted negatively on the social and economic lives of every country.
“All economic sectors have been adversely affected by the outbreak of this crisis and some countries have indeed imposed restrictions on the export of vital food products and pharmaceuticals in order to ensure adequate supplies of these essential items for their own domestic markets and the public,” he said.
Otumfuo noted that in the light of the current difficult economic circumstances, countless Ghanaian businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), had suffered with the resultant loss of thousands of jobs.
He commended the government for the several stimulus packages it had devised to alleviate the plight of distressed companies and also applauded the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) for the critical role it is playing in the successful implementation of the Stimulus Packages.
The then Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, in a speech read on his behalf, pointed out that the central location of the Ashanti Region coupled with its endowment of abundant natural and human resources made it a viable business destination, attracting all levels and sizes of investments.
The regional minister explained that government, recognising the importance of the role of SMEs in the economy and also responsive to their special needs, had put in place measures targeted at providing financial support for SMEs and these included the GH¢100 million fund earmarked for the COVID-19 Alleviation and Re-vitalisation for Enterprises Support (CARES) Programmes, adding that the disbursement of the funds was being handled by government, in collaboration with the NBSSI.
The top Financial Services Excellence Awards went to Absa Bank Ghana Limited (Overall Best Universal Bank); Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank Limited (Overall Best Rural Bank); Enterprise Life Assurance Company Limited (Overall Best Life Insurance Company) and SIC Insurance Company Limited (Overall Best Non-Life Insurance Company).
The winners also included Atwima Mponua Rural Bank Limited; Juaben Rural Bank Limited; Nwabiagya Rural Bank Limited; Otuasekan Rural Bank Limited; CompuGhana Limited; Electroland Ghana Limited; Interworld Products Ghana Limited; McAPP Ghana Limited; Oak Plaza Suites and Soccabet Company Limited.
Others are Glico General Insurance Company Limited; Glico Life Insurance Company Limited; Hollard Insurance Company Limited; SIC Life Company Limited; Star Assurance Company Limited; Vanguard Assurance Company Limited; Micro-Finance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC); Prudential Bank Limited and Republic Bank Limited.
The Executive Chairman of the Melcom Group, Mr Bhagwan Ramchand Khubchandani, received the Platinum Award, the highest honour.
Other Business Leaders Excellence Award recipients were Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, Metropolitan Chief Executive, Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly; Mr Eric Asubonteng, the Managing Director of Anglogold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine; Mr Augustine Awere Damoah, the General Manager of the Juaben Rural Bank Limited; Mr David Michael Harper, the Managing Director of Geodrill Ghana Limited; Mr Kwame Osei Prempeh, the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Oil Company Limited; Dr Kwame Kyei, the Executive Chairman, Unity Group; Mr Eldon Moses Asamoah Otu, Area Manager, Star Assurance Company Limited, and Mr Lawrence Agyinsam, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Export-Import Bank.