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Graphic Business-Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting: E-Services booster to businesses - GUTA President

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
 Dr Joseph Obeng (4th from left), the GUTA president, with Ato Afful (2nd from right), MD for GCGL, Franklin Sowah (right), the Director Marketing, GCGL, Mawuko Afadzinu (2nd from left), the Brands and Marketing Manager, Stanbic Bank, and some participants after the breakfast meeting
Dr Joseph Obeng (4th from left), the GUTA president, with Ato Afful (2nd from right), MD for GCGL, Franklin Sowah (right), the Director Marketing, GCGL, Mawuko Afadzinu (2nd from left), the Brands and Marketing Manager, Stanbic Bank, and some participants after the breakfast meeting

The President of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Dr Joseph Obeng, has said E-Services have helped to boost the businesses of traders in the country.

According to him, through E-Services, traders were able to sell to their clients seamlessly while they were also able to access services from the various government platforms and financial institutions without having to be physically present.

Dr Obeng said that in an interview shortly after the Graphic Business-Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting held at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra on Tuesday.

On the theme, “Integration of E- Service into our economy: Implications for economic growth,” Tuesday’s meeting was the first of four quarterly events scheduled for the year to throw the spotlight on topics that bothers on the economy.

The event, which is the first of four for the year, attracted captains of industry, business leaders and groups, the academia and communication experts, among others.

The meeting, which has become one of the most sought-after thought-leadership events in the country, was meant, among other things, to set the stage for broader discussions on how E-services within the public and private sectors are impacting the economy and changing lives.

It also discussed the challenges and way forward to make E-Services a major game changer for growth.

E-Services and taxes

With regards to taxes, Dr Obeng said the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had made it possible for traders to honour their tax obligations online without having to visit the offices of the GRA.

However, he urged the tax authority to help educate the people on how to use the platforms provided to pay taxes.

“The authority must also help to make the processes simple and user friendly for those of our members who are not so literate to be able to use it.

Many of them are willing to pay but the processes must be made less cumbersome to entice them and not discourage them,” he said.

Data reliability

With regards to data reliability, the GUTA President stressed the need for the telcos to ensure that their services were not disrupted to enable their customers to effectively use E-Services.

“E-services can only be offered online and therefore, we must have reliable internet services to conduct that business.

“Again, the cost of data must be considered to enable more people to use the service because it has come to stay and we must use it well for the benefit of all,” Dr Obeng said.

Event

This edition was chaired by the Country Manager, VISA Ghana, Adoma Owusu, who was supported by three industry experts.

They are; Technology Planner in the Digital Financial Services industry, Fred Frimpong; Financial Services and Technology Professional, Francis Appiah; and a Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Ghana, William Kofi Owusu Demitia.

Profile of panellists

Fred Frimpong is a high-impact leader, technology planner and executor of transformational projects for the Digital Financial Services (DFS) industry.

He is entrepreneurial in nature with a unique ability to apply more than 17 years of experience in telecommunications, mobile money, micro lending and e-commerce to solve practically any problem life throws at him.

He is passionate about promoting financial inclusion using technology.

William Kofi Owusu Demitia is a lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law and prior to joining the School of Law, he lectured at a number of reputable Ghanaian universities including Central University, Pentecost University, Lancaster University Ghana and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

He is also the facilitator for the Strategic Tax Planning course of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana (CITG).

Mr Demitia holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B), a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Taxation and a Master of Business Administration in Finance.

He is a member of the Ghana Bar Association, the International Fiscal Association, the International Bar Association, an associate member of the American Bar Association, a Tax Practitioner of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, Ghana and a Master Tax Professional (SA) – South African Institutes of Tax Professionals.

Francis Appiah is a financial services and technology professional. He has worked in diverse roles both in Ghana and the United States. He was a Structured Credit Analyst on performance analysis on collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) at Fitch Ratings Inc “Fitch”, an international bond rating agency in New York City.

In Ghana, he has held a diverse range of roles including research analysis, investment management, compliance, corporate finance and most recently operations management for a payments-focused fintech. Beyond finance and investments, his professional interests also include infrastructure development, economic development, strategy and business development.