Ghana: UK-Ghana Business Council to Translate Priority Policies Into Action

United Kingdom-Ghana Business Council has resolved to translate its priority policies into actionable activities that would mutually benefit the citizens of the two countries.

The Council was established 12 months ago as a high-level forum to promote bilateral relations and strategic partnerships between Ghanaian private sector and UK counterparts for trade and investment that would mutually benefit each nation and enhance economic growth.

At its third meeting at the Jubilee House, the seat of government in Accra, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, said government was committed to strengthening public institutions and institutional framework, geared towards ensuring efficiency, transparency and accountability in public administration.

He urged the Council to identify key priority areas of economic development and develop trade continuity agreements, and work towards reducing various business constraints in their bilateral relations.

He made reference to the three overarching themes the Council identified at its last meeting in UK in February this year, including; infrastructure development, domestic resource mobilisation and the ease of doing business. Vice President Bawumia underscored the need for the Council to work towards developing actionable activities on the ground and develop transition of trade continuity agreements to make them a reality.

He believed that Ghana and UK companies could boost their partnerships in the areas of digital technology, infrastructure development, extractive sector, agro-processing, pharmaceutical industry and other key areas of the economy to boost the economies of the two countries.

Dr Bawumia noted that President Akufo-Addo's government over the past two years had instituted the necessary building blocks to ensure sound macro-economic environment and promote trade and investments. He mentioned key indicators that underpin economic growth as good governance, strong public institutions and legal framework and safe stable democratic credentials.

He said the government was working tirelessly to ensure conducive business environment to promote trade and investments since it assumed the reins of government.

The Vice President outlined some policies and strategic interventions put in place to ensure enabling business environment and social inclusion as automation of the public sector institutions, e-business registration and paperless ports system.

Others are digital property and addressing system, unique identification of the citizens through the national identification system, mobile money interoperability payment system for financial inclusion and efforts to register land records to enhance transparency and efficiency.

Dr Bawumia said government also strengthened anti-corruption institutions like the Audit Service, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and Office of the Special Prosecutor with financial resources and logistics to fight corruption and ensure transparency and accountability.

Vice President Bawumia believed that in the next two to three years, the Ghanaian public sector would be transformed and become more efficient to stimulate socio-economic development.

For her part, Baroness Sugg, the UK's Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Development, pledged UK government's commitment to partner Ghana government to promote trade and investments. She applauded the Ghana government's vision of building a Ghana Beyond Aid and expressed its preparedness to provide technical assistance towards realising that agenda.

Baroness Sugg promised UK government's commitment to fight the effects of climate change with 11.6 billion Pounds for the next five years, especially as the UK was appointed Co-President of COP26 towards realising the Paris Agreement. Some government officials and ministers of state at the meeting included Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Charles Aduboahen, Deputy Minister of Finance, Papa Owusu Ankomah, Ghana's Ambassador to UK and Mr Yoofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

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