Czech - Ghanaian Chamber of Commerce


On Wednesday the 18th of October, the Embassies of Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway in Accra, hosted the forum “Ghana beyond aid”. The event happened in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MoTI) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra.

The Keynote address was given by Vice-President of Ghana H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who elaborated on the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda. Though Ghana has been relying on an increasing amount of development aid since the 1960s, the country now strives to move beyond aid.

The government aims to achieve this by mobilizing domestic savings & revenues, investing in training & capacity building, encouraging entrepreneurs, investing in infrastructure and in increased connectivity. It wants to boost regional and international trade, by investing in agriculture and in industrialization and formalizing the economy.

The Ambassadors of the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway reacted to the Vice-President’s address and talked about their real time experiences of private sector development in Ghana. The approaches of Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway are aligned with the focus of the Ghanaian government under President Akufo-Addo on empowerment of the private sector and entrepreneurship as the main engines for economic growth.

The Netherlands, for instance, has pursued the ‘Holland Ghana Growing Together’ agenda for the past years. In Ghana, the Netherlands has focused on the topics Agriculture, Water & Sanitation, and Health. In all its programmes, the Netherlands Embassy has collaborated with private sector players and entrepreneurs. The Embassy also runs several initiatives which are specifically focusing on stimulating entrepreneurship in Ghana – such as Growing Business Together and the New Business Challenge. The Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC) has played a role in some of these initiatives as well.

After these addresses, a panel consisting of representatives of GIPC, academia and entrepreneurs discussed their views on how the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ Agenda could be realized, and the attending audience could weigh in as well.

Important take-aways were that there are major challenges to overcome before Ghana can become “the most business friendly country in Africa”. These include limited access to finance and high interest rates, corruption, and shifting government policies. These challenges need to be addressed before Ghana can become an attractive destination for foreign investors, and a country where businesses can grow and thrive.

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