Bilateral Trade and Intra-Continental Trade

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In recent weeks there has been much focus on Westminster and when and how (or even if) the UK may leave the European Union. Clearly with so much still up in the air it is not possible, with any degree of confidence, suggest where this will all land up other than to say the final position “will not be as bad as we fear nor as good as we hope”.
However, we should not forget the importance of the bilateral trade relations between the UK and Ghana, with over  $3.3bn invested into Ghana by UK companies and £198 of goods and £174m of services exported from Ghana to the UK – the UK remains an important trading and investment partner with Ghana. In the event the UK exits the European Union, the importance of ensuring a seamless transition and maintenance of the duty free and quota free access to the UK markets cannot be stressed enough to ensure those companies exporting to the UK are not impacted beyond the potential risk of the sterling depreciating.
But it is not all negative as we look to the future, there are a number of exciting dynamics to consider. Not least is the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), this important agreement could result in a number of opportunities for our members through greater duty free access to other markets on the continent. Whilst it is acknowledged there are risks in opening up markets, companies should not be fearful of competition in a rules based market place, we just have to ensure the rules are enforced and your Chamber is here to flag up any breaches with the authorities as required!
To understand the scale of the potential of AfCTFA and intra-continental trade, the infographic above shows how far Africa is lagging in intra-continental trade when compared to other parts of the world.
But what does that mean for the bilateral trade between the UK and Ghana, in the event they depart from the EU with or without a deal? Some members have suggested to the Chamber, that they can see an expansion of Ghanaian exports of value-added coca products to the UK, expansion of production and export of preserved tuna, securing value for specific agricultural products and facilitating the development of intra-African supply chains resulting from increased Ghanian productions and export of value-added products to the UK. What opportunities do you see?

Hollard’s busy month of branch launches, donations and appointments.

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Hollard has been busy this month with the launch of a Tema branch, a donation to the Prison’s Officers Training School and Group level appointments.

Hollard Ghana Holdings Ltd unveiled the group’s two companies new branch in Tema called the “The Purple Avenue.” Speaking at the launch, Group CEO, Patience Akyianu pointed out that the company has been in Tema for the past 20 years, previously as Metropolitan Insurance and since 2015 as Hollard Insurance. She said the Group was opening the first insurance shopping arcade by relocating the Tema branch of Hollard Insurance and setting up a new branch for Hollard Life there. She added, “It is part of our strategy to deepen our footprint in Ghana and to bring our superior product for both the general and life insurance businesses under one roof for the convenience of its cherished customers.”

As part of its purpose to ‘’enable more people to achieve a better future, Hollard Life Assurance Ghana Limited donated one hundred (100) bags of cement to the Prisons Officers Training School. The donation which was done on 9th July 2019 followed a request for support from the training school for the construction of a Male Ablution Facility.  The facility when completed will accommodate two hundred and seventy (270) trainees; an indication of the importance of the project. Receiving the items, the Commandant of the School DDP. Samuel Adjei-Attah expressed his sincere appreciation.  He said Hollard Life was the first insurance company to have responded to their request in such a fantastic manner.

Finally, Hollard is signalling its seriousness to dominate the market with recent appointments. The company’s strategy to bolster its talent has seen it engage two heads at the group level; Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Cynthia Ofori-Dwumfuo, and Valerie Ackwerh, Group Head of Legal. Cynthia is responsible for formulating and driving the implementation of strategic marketing initiatives aimed at enhancing the Company’s brand, increase brand profitability and identify new market opportunities. On her part, Valerie is in-house counsel and will provide technical direction for the effective handling of all legal matters and guide Hollard Ghana in the implementation of statutory requirements of the Companies Act and other relevant laws within the Company. She will also provide company secretarial duties and governance services and act as the Compliance Officer.

Turn Around Time For Clearing Goods Has Reduced

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Representatives from the EU, member states and European chambers of commerce met with the commissioner for customs, Mr. Isaac Crentsil, together with the representative from the office of the vice president responsible for infrastructure development, Mrs. Khadija Amoah on 17th May 2019.  The UKGCC was represented by its Executive Director, Adjoba Kyiamah.

The Commissioner for customs emphasised the GRA’s determination to swiftly implement the reforms announced by the VP in April 2019, in particular, to lower rates of physical inspection of containers to 10% by July 2019 and fully implement the national Single window.

The Commissioner gave a status update as of May 2019, on paperless clearing system and was happy to report that the turn around time for clearing goods has reduced to a minimum of one day and a maximum of three days.

He added that they are in the process of creating the single window to resolve the issue of dealing with the many regulatory agencies at the port.  Also, the total number of regulatory agencies that importers have to deal with at the port are now only three.

He explained that shipped containers are grouped into three categories and labelled as follows:

  1. green – no inspection required;
  2. Yellow – to go through the scanner;
  3. Red – requires physical inspection and most likely flagged as high risk by one of the regulatory agencies.

According to the Commissioner, currently 40% of the container traffic is green; 30% is yellow; and the remaining 30% red. He also explained that the recently announced reduction on import duties are being applied on the assessed values of all imported products and not just benchmarked values.

He also provided a status update on the introduction of the Cargo Tracking Number (CTN) system, its benefits and its challenges.  He explained the importance of keeping the CTN and making it mandatory for all importers without exception.  He admitted that the system has brought mixed results in terms of compliance but increased revenue.

The Commissioner explained that the inspection reforms are being done with the support of the UK government.  They are also getting support from UK Border force on dealing with the problem of smuggling due to the porous nature of our borders, particularly on the Togo side.

In response to a question, the Commissioner explained that pre-shipment inspections are being done and will continue to be done on a case by case basis as has been the case for years now.

Regarding the status of Foreign Economic Agents operating at Ghana’s ports, Mrs. Amoah clarified that the 2015 Customs law would be amended and that the local content restrictions would apply only to new entrants.

Mrs. Amoah asked all to be patient till July when the new port terminal 3 will be in use and it will be a much better experience for importers.  As she explained, almost all of the challenges being faced by importers are infrastructure related and not related to the quality of the people employed at the Ports.

The meeting came to an end with the agreement that a tour will be arranged for the European business chambers and their members to tour the new terminal three to see what is happening there and see for themselves how port services have been improved.

 

Let’s change burden of proof in prosecution of corrupt offences— Kofi Abotsi

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A former Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Mr Ernest Kofi Abotsi, has advocated for changes in the burden of proof in the prosecution of corrupt offences.

In his view, accused persons must be presumed guilty until they prove their innocence.

He said the current practice in which persons accused of corrupt practices were presumed innocent, requiring the state to prove otherwise, undermined the effective prosecution of corrupt cases because the state might not be able to gather enough information against the accused.

Panel discussion

Mr Abotsi was contributing to a panel discussion on ways the country could fight corruption at a forum organised by the Private Sector Led Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG) in Accra last Tuesday.

The PSACG is a project initiated by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID’s) strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) programme.

PSACG’s key mission is to aid engagement by the private sector with the government of Ghana through the Office of the Vice President, to tackle corruption because it negatively affects the cost of doing business and investment flows into Ghana.

Current practice

According to Mr Abotsi the current practice was a contributory factor to the many instances of the state having to discontinue cases on grounds of inadequate evidence against the accused.

He argued that the accused person “is the one who has the repository of information to prove otherwise,” and therefore, should be required to do so to spare the state the toil of gathering information “which may be concealed by the alleged perpetrators.”

“The one who is corrupt has all the information. The one who is alleging the corruption may have little information against the accused.

The Attorney General now has to put things together through the various state agencies to be able to make a case against the accused.

“For a country where we do not have enough lawyers and attorney general departments which are not even well resourced, it is easy for the accused to invest in the case and win even when they may be guilty,” he stated.

Other members

Other members of the panel were the Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo and the Technical Advisor to the Commissioner General of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr Henry Yentumi.

The rest are the Managing Partner of Addison Bright Sloane, a consultancy firm, Ms Victoria Bright and the Executive Director of Peverett Maxwell, a consultancy firm, Ms Leticia Adu-Ampoma.

In the discussion, all the panellists mentioned corruption as a major impediment to the growth of the private sector by discouraging a free and fair competition on the market and undermining investor confidence.

Mrs Ofori-Kwafo, for instance, expressed dissatisfaction at what she described as the over centredness of corruption on the public sector although “many cases of corruption in the public sector had private sector involvements.”

Ms Adu-Ampoma agreed with Mrs Ofori-Kwafo that there were gaps in the country’s anti-corruption laws but called for stringent enforcement of the current laws because “they are considerably enough to handle the problem.”

Assistance

For his part, Mr Yentumi called on the private sector to assist the public sector to develop systems that would make it easier for the public to access services in public institutions with ease.

According to him, the delays in seeking services in public institutions bred corruption and that, he added, could be resolved by the private sector because “they have the expertise in developing systems that can help shorten the processes involved.”

source: www.graphic.com.gh

Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG) Presents Policy Paper on Corruption and Business In Ghana To H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President Of The Republic Of Ghana.

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The Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG) on Friday, 5th April 2019 presented a policy report on corruption and business in Ghana to the Vice President H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the Jubilee house Accra. This is in recognition of his role as the Chairman of the Economic Management Team of Government.
The report highlighted the key challenges faced by local and multinational companies operating in Ghana, which predispose them to corruption, how the identified operational bottlenecks affect their businesses and proposed policy recommendations to tackle these challenges.
The findings were put together with primary data collected from a Safe Space forum, which provided a platform for over 30 CEOs of local and multinational businesses to share their experiences on how corruption adversely affects businesses in Ghana. Other sources included key informant interviews with officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, and the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana.
PSACG acknowledged the Government of Ghana’s efforts to improve the business environment through the implementation of various reform initiatives including anti-corruption measures, public sector reforms, reduction of tax burden on businesses, efficient regulatory regime for businesses, and improvement in macro-economic conditions amongst others. However, to them, businesses continue to face significant challenges, which they believe emanated from a number of systemic and institutional hindrances resulting in the high cost of doing business in the country.
PSACG, therefore, took the initiative to contribute to government’s efforts by collating the voices of private sector actors on how corruption hurts their operations. The policy report has been distilled around key themes that reflect the major causes of corruption in doing business including inadequate information on processes and cost of services, multiple regulatory agencies with duplicating and overlapping functions among others.
To help address these challenges, PSACG has proposed practical recommendations and pledged its commitment and support to help the government deal with corruption. Among the key recommendations proposed are implementing a national digital web monitoring complaints system for reporting service ineptitude and corruption. In addition, PSACG proposes establishing 2 a clear governance structure at the ports to regulate inter-agency relations and simplify business
processes.
At the presentation of the policy report, the leader of the PSACG delegation, Mr Charles Zwennes said: “There is clear evidence in Ghana that historically, the fight against corruption has not been as effective as is required to achieve the desired effect. We must however applaud the renewed efforts made by the current government to reduce the incidence of the canker for the sake of improving efficiency and economic growth. We recognise however that it is critical
for these efforts to be sustained and intensified in order to improve economic growth and the general welfare of the nation at large since corruption is the social ill which affects private sector efforts at nation building. PSACG is committed to working closely with government in the efforts to see its eradication”.

The Vice President, H.E. Dr. Bawumia in receiving the policy document welcomed the report and mentioned that some of the recommendations were already being implemented by government through the digitization of processes and that the remainder will be considered seriously. He added that his office is willing to partner with PSACG to continue engaging on
eradicating bribery and corruption from the public sector to aid business efficiency. He said, “As policy makers we are concerned about improving the ease of doing business to improve productivity, efficiency and overall create more jobs. We have therefore put in the following measures to enhance the operations of businesses in the country:
• digitization of the Ports, DVLA, Passport Office, NHIS, Land registry, GRA filing, in which the private sector companies are being engaged
• improved financial inclusion through mobile interoperability with banks and mobile money services
The PSACG will also hold a stakeholder forum with private sector businesses to further discuss issues on enhancing the business environment.

About Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG)

Private Sector Anti-Corruption Group (PSACG) established in 2018, is a project initiated by the UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) and funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s Strengthening Action Against Corruption (STAAC) program. PSACG’s key mission is to aid engagement with the Government of Ghana, through the Office of the Vice President, in tackling corruption that affects the cost of doing business and enhances investment flows into Ghana.

The UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC) with support from the heads of the chambers of commerce comprising Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), European Business Organization (EBO), the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), and the American Chamber of Commerce, Ghana (AMCHAM) leads PSACG.

For more information about PSACG, contact:
UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce
British High Commission, Accra
Tel: +233 (0) 302 213 214
Email: [email protected]

NB
The challenges and recommendations presented by PSACG are listed below:
Key themes that reflect the major causes of corruption
i. Inadequate information on processes and cost of services;
ii. Multiple regulatory agencies with duplicating and overlapping functions;
iii. Multiple taxes, fees and charges for duplicated services;
iv. Multiple law enforcement agencies performing varied regulatory functions at the ports;
v. Lack of or inadequate channels for reporting corruption; and
vi. Political party funding.
Recommendations by PSACG
(i) Providing regular updates on the publication of services, timelines for delivery, costs of
services on the websites and notice boards of service delivery agencies; as well as adopt
mobile apps and other digital applications for effective information dissemination in all
service delivery agencies,
(ii) Establish a clear governance structure at the ports to regulate inter-agency relations and
simplify business processes;
(iii) Expedite action on the recommendations of the Ports Fees/Charges Committee and
establish similar committees to review charges in other sectors;
(iv) Institute a national inter-sectoral and cross-sectoral review of agencies and their enabling
legislations to remove regulatory redundancies and functional overlaps that constrain
business growth;
(v) Ensure effective coordination of all security agencies operating at the ports, monitor
activities of security officials at the port on CCTV, and apply swift and hefty sanctions
for officers who are found engaging in corrupt activities;
(vi) Establish a national hotline for reporting corruption, clarify the appeal processes for the
resolution of corruption complaints, institute annual mandatory ethics training for all
public servants, get Parliament to pass the Code of Conduct for Public Officers’ Bill, and
mandate CHRAJ to prepare a separate annual report on corruption in administrative
agencies for the Presidency; and
(vii) Explore the feasibility of state funding for political parties including the option to
resource the Electoral Commission to conduct internal political party elections, as well
as revise campaign-financing rules to reduce cost of elections.

UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce welcomes the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Ghana

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Chief Executive of the UK Ghana Chamber of Commerce (UKGCC), Tony Burkson has today
welcomed The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Ghana.
Mr Burkson said: “It is a great honour for me, on behalf of the United Kingdom-Ghana
Chamber of Commerce, to welcome your Royal Highnesses’ The Prince of Wales and the
Duchess of Cornwall to Ghana and to wish you a truly memorable time during your visit.
Ghana and the UK have, for many years, shared a close relationship, and one which we are
very proud to celebrate with your Highnesses’ today.
You come to Ghana at an exciting stage in its history as it grows and develops and looks to play
a major part in a revitalised and reformed Commonwealth, which we know you are very keen
and proud supporter of.
We also know that enterprise, along with the environment and the support of young people, are
areas you are very passionate about. The UKGCC is also very passionate about supporting
enterprise and business initiatives between our two nations and, since our formation two years
ago, we have taken huge strides to promote the interests of UK companies operating in Ghana
and acting as a gateway for Ghanaian companies seeking growth opportunities.”
Their Royal Highnesses will arrive in Ghana on Friday November 2, as part of a historic tour of
three African countries. They will spend four days in Ghana (November 2-6) as part of the visit.

HON. CLEMENT ABAS APAAK

HON. CLEMENT ABAS APAAK

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HON. CLEMENT ABAS APAAK

HON. CLEMENT ABAS APAAK

MP for Builsa South constituency, Upper East region.

Member of Parliament

Hometown: DORNINGA
Party: National Democratic Congress (Minority)
Education: DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (SIMON FRASER UNIV, CANADA)

MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (UNIVERSITY OF BERCEGEN, NORWAY)

B.A. (UNIV. OF GHANA)

 

Date of Birth: Thursday, 11th June, 1970
Religion: CHRISTIAN
Email: [email protected]
Employment


 

 

PRESIDENTIAL STAFFER,2013-2016 (OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT)

LECTURER,2010-2013 (UNIV. OF GHANA)

LECTURER,2008-2010 (SIMON FRASER UNIV., BRITISH COLUMBIA)

HON. RUDOLF NSORWINE AMENGA-ETEGO

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HON. RUDOLF NSORWINE AMENGA-ETEGO

MP for Chiana-Paga constituency, Upper East region.

Member of Parliament

Hometown: KANDIGA
Party: National Democratic Congress (Minority)
Education: B. A. (HONS) (UNIVERSITY OF GHANA)

EMGL (GIMPA)

BARRISTER AT LAW (GHANA SCH OF LAW)

 

Date of Birth: Wednesday, 17th December, 1958
Religion: CHRISTIAN
Email: [email protected]
Employment


 

 

SNR. INSPECTOR OF TAXES,1988-2000 (I. R. S)

DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY,2000-2004 (ISODEC)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,2005-2010 (GRASSROOTS AFRICA)

HON. BENSON TONGO BABA

HON. BENSON TONGO BABA

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HON. BENSON TONGO BABA

HON. BENSON TONGO BABA

MP for Talensi constituency, Upper East region.

Member of Parliament

Hometown: TENGZUK,TONGO
Party: National Democratic Congress (Minority)
Education: SPECIALIST TEACHERS’ CERT IN P. E. (UNIV. OF EDUCATION, WENNEBA)

TEACHERS’S CERT. A. (PUSIGA TRAINING COLLEGE)

AWARDED JSC (GHANA ARMED FORCES COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE)

PSC/CPA (GHANA ARMED FORCES COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE/GIMPA)

CHIEF EXECUTIVE PROGRAMME (GIMPA)

ADVANCED MGT. IN PRISON ADMINISTRATION (CROWN AGENTS TRAINING CENTER, UK)

 

Date of Birth: Thursday, 23rd September, 1948
Religion: CHRISTIAN
Email: [email protected]
Employment


 

 

CLASSROOM TEACHER,1970-1970 (GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE)

SPORTS MASTER,1975-1977 (GHANA EDUCATION SERVICE)

DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL, OPERATIONS,2006-2008 (GHANA PRISONS SERVICE)

HON. SEBASTIAN NGMENENSO SANDAARE

HON. SEBASTIAN NGMENENSO SANDAARE

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HON. SEBASTIAN NGMENENSO SANDAARE

HON. SEBASTIAN NGMENENSO SANDAARE

MP for Daffiama, Bussie, Issa constituency, Upper West region.

Member of Parliament

Hometown: DAFFIAMA
Party: National Democratic Congress (Minority)
Education: BSC (KNUST)

MB.CHB (KNUST)

MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH (UNIVERSITY OF GHANA)

MGCP (GHANA COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS)

 

Date of Birth: Tuesday, 1st January, 1974
Religion: Christian
Email: [email protected]
Employment


 

DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF HEALTH,2009-to date (GHANA HEALTH SERVICE)

MEDICAL SUPERINTENDENT,2005-2008 (GHANA HEALTH SERVICE)