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Ghana to open up borders to West African neighbours


The Minister for Business Development, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has said the country will soon open up its borders to its West African counterparts in a bid to foster trade between the country and its neighbours.
He said plans were far advanced to open up the country’s borders to Benin and Niger, as it had already opened up to Togo.

This he said formed part of plans to expand business operations through regional integration.
The Minister said this in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on the sidelines of the inaugural Deloitte C-suite Panel Series and Networking event in Accra.
“We have opened the borders between Ghana and Togo and so there are no barriers now, so for twenty four hours a day businesses can have easy access to the markets of Togo” he stated.
Corporate governance principles
The Minister also challenged businesses in the country to practice sound corporate governance principles.
He said this would help them attract foreign direct investments to grow their businesses to become competitive on the global stage.
He said sound corporate governance principles was at the core of sustainable development and growth of enterprises on the global platform, but unfortunately, most African businesses are challenged in pursuing it.
“We need ethical business leaders with integrity to lead our organisations into prosperity,” he stated.
He said corporate governance contributed to greater value throughout the life of a company as it ensured that companies are managed in the best interest of the owner.
“It ensures accountability, predictability and transparency,” he noted.
He said entrepreneurs could tap into broader sources of finances by doing good business.
With easier access to capital, he said companies are more likely to grow, generate more tax revenues and create jobs.
West African Hub
The Managing Director for Emerging Markets and Africa of Deloitte, Dr Martyn Davies, also in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS called on the need to have a business hub for the West African region.
He said every region needed a hub and “just like Nairobi is the hub of East Africa and Johannesburg is the hub of South Africa, I think Ghana can also be the hub for West Africa.”
With the right steps, he said Ghana could easily become that hub in West Africa.
Confidence in government
Dr Davies also expressed his confidence in the new government and the initiatives that it had undertaken so far towards creating a friendly business environment.
“We have recognized the positivity with this new government and we want to come into the country and to align the business objectives with our clients who have the economic growth trajectory of the country,” he mentioned.
“We therefore think the time is right for us to get leading South African countries or multinationals based out of Johannesburg that have African operations into this part of the continent particularly Ghana” he added.
He said Deloitte was working hard to create an intra African firm through collaborative projects between African countries.
“We are focused on bringing multinationals who have an inclination towards the manufacturing sector to come here to Ghana and take advantage of the business opportunities here and in other African countries as well…As part of that, we will be meeting with the minister of Business Development and Minister of Trade and Industry and also visit the ports to explore the efficiencies there,” he explained. — GB
credit:EMMANUEL BRUCE

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