Nora Bannerman-Abbott — Board Member of the Development Bank Ghana
Nora Bannerman-Abbott — Board Member of the Development Bank Ghana

Public, private sectors must align for economic growth — Bannerman-Abbott

A Board Member of the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Nora Bannerman-Abbott, has called for a robust partnership between government agencies and the private sector to foster economic growth and job creation. 

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Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the just-ended 3i Africa Summit, organised by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and DBG, with the support of Elevandi, the board member emphasised the critical need for public institutions to align their efforts with the specific requirements of the private sector.

Highlighting the frequent disconnect between public policy and private sector needs, Ms Bannerman-Abbott argued for a paradigm shift where government entities actively engage with businesses to understand their challenges and co-create effective solutions.

"The partnerships must also include policymakers, must include ministries, departments and agencies that have been established by government to support businesses to thrive,” she stated.

"There has to be that true partnership. Too many times, we have the private sector running after the public sector, trying to get them to develop their own plans and programmes which is most often without the input of the private sector, which to me is not right,” Ms Bannerman-Abbott stated.

She pointed out that effective public-private collaboration was essential for devising policies that genuinely supported business growth and employment. "If institutions are established to support the private sector, they need to understand what the private sector needs to thrive and give jobs to people.

So one cannot sit in one ministry or in one department and develop some policy or something and then hope that it will help the private sector,” she opined. Ms Bannerman-Abbott underscored the necessity for the public sector to be proactive in seeking out and addressing the needs of businesses.

"What we need is for that deep partnership, the public sector should run after the private sector. When we get to that level of thinking and understanding, our economy will be transformed," she added.

The DBG board member stated that one of the major challenges facing the private sector was the lack of access to long-term or patient capital, which she said hampered businesses' ability to expand and innovate.

The call for a deeper and more effective partnership between the public and private sectors reflects a growing consensus on the need for collaborative approaches to addressing and subsequently resolving the many challenges facing Ghana’s private sector for sustained economic growth and development. 

Long-term capital

Ms Bannerman-Abbott asserted that the DBG had been established precisely to address such gaps, by providing the necessary long-term financial resources to support sustained business growth.

Touching on innovation, she highlighted DBG's role in fostering innovation by supporting startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  "DBG fosters innovation by supporting startups and SMEs through funding, mentorship and access to a network of industry and technical experts," Ms Bannerman-Abbott explained.

She added that DBG had invested in research and development of new financial products and technologies that could solve real problems across markets, contributing to economic resilience and growth. 

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