Ghana has been undergoing a process of financial sector restructuring and transformation as an integral part of its Vision 2015 strategy. Prior to 2003, the Bank of Ghana, Ghana’s Central Bank, operated a three-pillar banking model with all banks licensed as either development, merchant and commercial banking. In February 2003, the Bank of Ghana introduced Universal Banking which allowed the banks to undertake commercial, development, merchant or investment banking without requiring separate licenses. This has levelled the playing field, and opened up the banking system to competition, product innovation and entry.
The National coordinator of the Ghana Capacity 21 Programme, Mr. S. 0. Saaka apologized on behalf of the Chief Director of the Ministry for Environment Science and Technology for his inability to be at the workshop due to other equally important engagements. He said, it has been about a year since PEF began planning for this workshop and the UNDP/Ghana Capacity 21 Programme assisted in organizing their focal persons in the various districts to be part of this workshop. He lauded PEF's efforts in going beyond Accra and Kumasi and to the remote parts of the country to draw participants for this workshop.
Agriculture has long been an important sector of the economy, employing about 50 percent of the labour force. At the end of 2014, the sector contributed an estimated 19.9 percent to the country’s GDP (Ghana Statistical Service). Cocoa is the major export crop, followed by timber and non-traditional products such as horticulture, fish/sea foods and pineapple. The Agriculture sector continued its trend of increasing growth, growing at 5.3 percent in 2014 compared with 5.2 percent in 2013 and 2.3 percent in 2012. This was mainly on account of growth in the Crop, Livestock sub sector and the Fishing sub sector. In addition, the recent investments made in the development of the Agricultural Industry bodes well for sustained growth in the Industry.
This colloquium, coming so soon after the First National Forum on Harnessing Research, Science and Technology for Sustainable Development of Ghana, held at the International Conference Centre, Accra, from March 15th to 19th, 2004 encourages me to amplify, explain further and contextualize better, some of the following key statements I made and ideas I espoused within the constraints of the planned period of the forum when I spoke on
Ghana Vision 2020: A Middle Income Country by the Year 2020
Ghana seeks to become a middle income country by the year 2020. This ambitious objective, embodied in the Government's Vision 2020, requires an average annual growth rate of 8% from 1995-2020. Maintaining the present policy framework, and thus its historical growth rate, will only achieve Half of what is required--Ghana must work twice as hard. The accelerated growth needed to attain the Objective of Vision 2020 can only come from a radical and sustained shift in the policy framework, to One that effectively implements an outward-oriented growth strategy. To achieve the required growth rate, exports must grow at least 10% per year--doubling every seven years. But traditional exports, currently accounting for 85% of total exports, are projected to grow at most by 5% per annum. This means that non-traditional exports must be the new engine of growth, growing at more than 15% per year from now to 2020. Export growth rates of this magnitude will result only if the entire economy is Focused on international competitiveness.
The Ghanaian private sector has been designated as the engine of growth in the country's new development strategy. This new role of the private sector is no doubt a challenging one. This is because the private sector is expected to play roles hitherto the preserve of the state.
The Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) is an umbrella private sector body devoted to the orderly and healthy development of the private sector in Ghana through ad roach and promotion. In the discharge of this responsibility PEF is involved in policy dialogue to ensure that policies favor the smooth growth of the private sector. In February 2000, PEF organized a workshop on the theme "Building Partnership with Parliamentary Committees - A Private Sector/Legislature Network on Policy and Laws for Effective Governance" for members of 3 relevant committees of parliament with a view to striking the necessary relationship and acquaintances to facilitate its advocacy role. Later events however did not allow for the full implementation of the recommendations of that workshop.
Over the last decade, Ghana's real GDP has grown steadily at 4 per cent per annum on average. Sectoral growth rates in agriculture, industry and services have also remained reasonably positive. However, the macro-economic performance has not facilitated the needed structural transformation of the economy ; consequently, the economy continues to depend on primary commodity exports. At about 36 per cent of GDP, the contribution of agriculture has changed little since 1961 when it reached 35 per cent. Primary commodities account for 61 . 2 per cent of exports on average compared to II per cent for manufactured goods (1997-2001). Ghana's external debt grew from 41 .4 per cent of GDP to 132.2 per cent over the period 1983-2000, revealing significant levels of dependence on external financial flows.
Ghana is endowed with substantial mineral resources and has a well-established mining sector, which has grown considerably in recent years to represent an important pillar of the Ghanaian economy.
The minerals extractive industry currently has thirteen large-scale mining companies and, over three hundred registered small scale mining groups and ninety mine support service companies.
Among the strategic objectives of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) IS the policy to maintain a close relationship with private sector business organizations and to be the lead organization that would play an advocacy role in influencing policies and regulations of government. The Foundation would also relate to other internal and external bodies for the creation of an enabling economic environment that would ensure that private business in Ghana could increasingly contribute to national development.
This study is part of a number of studies being conducted by the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) under the Private Sector Promotion Programme (PSPP) funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Programme is aimed at strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of the private sector in Ghana to undertake productive investments in order to accelerate the growth of the sector.
WE members of the Private Enterprise Foundation made up of the Association of Ghana industries (AGI), Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GNCCI), Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), Federation of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), Ghana Employers Association (GEA), Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) and others, consisting of major identifiable private sector associations and entities, representing their member companies and professional bodies including Insurance companies, building and civil engineering firms, contactors, manufacturers, consultancy service providers, hospitality industries, importers and exporters, etc.;
The organization of business activity in Ghana takes several forms, including unincorporated businesses, incorporated businesses, non-Ghanaian companies registered in Ghana as external companies and state-owned enterprises created by statutes.