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Strengthening business associations Ghana

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  • Type of document: PEF Research Report

Ghana's Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) seeks to influence "government policies and regulations in order to create an enabling environment for a private sector-led economic growth strategy and national development".   Associations are a group of people joined together for a shared purpose; in the case of business associations, the commonality is the business of members. Business Associations the world over have a potential to facilitate the development of a strong private sector by representing the interests of business and providing specific support to their members.  The recognition of this truism has informed the current drive of the Foundation to explore options available in strengthening business associations (used in this context to include trade associations). This is because the potential of business associations to contribute to a conducive policy environment would not be attained if the associations remain weak.

There are approximately one thousand, eight hundred and fifty (1,850) registered business associations in Ghana.  It is also common knowledge that a greater number of these associations are weak. In 2003, PEF conducted a survey of business associations and identified   four critical challenges confronting them. According to the survey findings, associations are not valued by their members, are poorly funded, under resourced, have divergent and often conflicting views, as well as lack research and lobbying capacity.

Some independent studies have confirmed the present weaknesses of Ghanaian business associations. In a paper titled “Enhancing the Competitiveness of SME's Networking through Professional Associations", presented in March 2006 at an International Small Enterprise Promotion Training (SEPneT) workshop held in Tanzania, Ralph Nyadu-Addo of KNUST identified eight major challenges of Ghanaian business associations. These were: low membership, poor and vision less leadership, inefficient management and administration, inadequate finance, non-acceptance as full partners by Government, adverse policies of Government, conflict of Interest, and socio-cultural impediments.


Read 3745 times Last modified on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 16:27
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