IMANI, GIZ hold fifth reform dialogue series

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman
 Franklin Cudjoe — Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education
Franklin Cudjoe — Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education

The IMANI Centre for Policy and Education (“IMANI CPE”) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (“GIZ”) have held the fifth IMANI-GIZ Reform Dialogue in Accra.

It was on the theme “Business Registration, Regulation, Property Rights and their Impact on Ghana’s Business Climate”.

The dialogue sought to engage relevant stakeholders in Ghana’s business registration, regulation and property rights space to discuss how the country could address the bottlenecks and increase efficiency to enhance the ease of doing business.

Robust environment

Speaking at the forum, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Mr Pierre Laporte, called for robust domestic business regulatory environment to facilitate private sector diversification and encourage private investments in the country.

He said boosting the private sector was crucial to building back the economy better from the COVID-19 crisis.

“The pandemic has created urgency for new discussions on how to attract private investment for a rapid and more sustainable recovery, which will only materialise at a significant level through key upstream reforms and institutional strengthening,” he said.

Business registration

Mr Laporte noted that the COVID-19 crisis had substantially weakened the country’s economic growth outlook, which was projected at 5.8 per cent for 2020 prior to the pandemic but ended up slowing to 0.4 per cent instead.

To revamp business growth in the country, he called for efficient and effective business registration systems to tackle bottlenecks to business registration to support firm creation and productivity.

“Economies that have efficient business registration processes tend to have a higher entry rate by new firms and greater business density.

“Faster business registration is associated with more businesses registering in industries with the strongest potential for growth such as those experiencing expansionary global demand or technology shifts,” he said.

Facilitating business registration

A Principal State Attorney at the Registrar General’s Department, Ms Domtie Sarpong, outlined a number of interventions the department had initiated with other stakeholders to facilitate business registration in Ghana.

She mentioned the mainstreaming of the Ghana Card, business operating permit, social security registration in the business registration process (both in-person and online).

Ms Sarpong also said the new Companies Act had introduced a number of novel sections that had resulted in technological improvements to further efforts towards improving the country’s ease of doing business.

“There will be a VVIP unit in this new office to give opportunity for those who really desire express services to pay a little extra for this and receive their documents in a day,” she added.

Automating business processes

The Head of Business Regulatory Reforms Programme of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ms Diana Afriyie Addo, also highlighted various interventions the ministry had implemented with partners to make Ghana the most business friendly destination in Africa.

She said the ministry had engaged various institutions on how they could be efficient in automating their systems to cut down the cost of doing business and the time required to register a business.