The meeting was held at the PEF conference room on 20th January 2017 at 9:30 am. In attendance were the chairman of PEF, Mr. Agyemang Duah, the CEO of PEF, Nana Osei- Bonsu, the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication, Mr. Kweku Sakyi Addo, Stephen Debre and Mr. Wisdom Adongo of PEF project team.
The CEO welcomed the Hon. Minister Designate and congratulated him on his nomination. He then set the agenda for the meeting, explaining that this was the first time such a ministry has been created, and it is an indication of what the government wants to do. It is therefore important to explore possible areas of collaboration and partnership between the Federation and the new ministry. He stated that one of the key elements for business growth is restoration of confidence in government.
He then briefed Mr. Awal on some of the efforts the Federation initiated with the past government but did not materialize. He specifically mentioned the scheduled meetings of the private sector with the economic management team of the past government, which was not taken seriously.
The CEO emphasized the need to build capacity, identify opportunities and create structures to enable the private sector take advantage of the opportunities that will be created by the government. He stated that in Europe, most of the businesses are succinct SMEs with high capacities and efficiency to compete globally and hopes that Ghana will emulate such a system to develop and support SMEs in Ghana to become pillars capable of competing globally and creating job and wealth for the country. He stressed on the need for the creation of the required resources from innovative sources such as the Tier 3 pensions. He also remarked that the Minister should focus on prioritizing 5 key sectors that will yield the needed results and impact. As a way of caution, he stated that the new Minister should ensure effective Coordination between related Ministries and agencies under him.
Mr. Sakyi Addo, encouraged the Hon. Minister to promote the leveraging of technology to drive the provision of public goods and services. He stated that technology enhances speed, efficiency, and reduces cheating and corruption. Just as we are able to fill visa forms online, so should other public services such as the acquisition of permits, registration and licensing procedures be done on line to enhance efficiency, he said. He praised the Vice President, H.E. Bawunia for visiting the Registrar General’s Department unannounced, as an indication of what the government is about.
Mr. Sakyi mentioned the mobile money as an example of a platform that could be explored to mobilized more resources for the country. According to him, only 25% of adults are registered on mobile money, and even with this low level of registration, an amount of GHC34 billion was transacted in 2015 and GHC30 billion by mid-2016.
The Hon. Minister Designate was happy to be invited by PEF and pledged to work with the Federation to achieve his goal of developing at least 1000 businesses each year for the next four years. He stated that he has two key objectives; the first is how to get investments into critical sectors of the economy, and the second is how to identify and support key existing Ghanaian businesses to become more efficient and profitability. He noted that 77% of businesses collapse in the first three years of operation either due to capacity issues, finance issues or productivity. He requested the Federation to support him in implementing these two objectives.
The Chairman remarked that most often, Ghana have had good leaders, but the people around them have not helped them but he sees this government to be different. Everyone in the new government wants to hit the ground running, and is a good sign for the private sector. It also boosts the confidence of the private sector in the economy. He then thanked the Minister for coming and closed the meeting at 11:05 am.