The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin, is urging Small and Medium Enterprises in the country to demand government’s commitment to eliminate corruption and foster growth of the sector.
His comment follows numerous concerns raised over the stifled growth that has characterized Ghana’s private sector including SMEs for some time now.
“The private sector should learn to talk about the obstacles it faces so as to have a policy discussion about how to overcome them,” he said. According to Jon Benjamin, Ghana’s inability to eliminate corrupt practices has contributed to worsening the plight of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country.
He argues among others that the canker still persists despite the already challenging prevailing economic conditions such as high interest rates, rising inflation, an unreliable power supply as well as bureaucracies in business regulation.
Speaking at a networking event for some leading private enterprises in Ghana, the British High Commissioner charged businesses to demand more accountability from governments, “Whether it is bureaucracy in regulation or whether it is the difficulty in obtaining access to credit and if you can, Ghana has one of the highest commercial rates around the world which is very difficult for people to respond to,” “Frankly also, the disease of corruption is a real issue and it is important that this is not a taboo subject; it is important that people talk about it and it is important that this it is not left just to us as foreigners with diplomatic immunity to talk about it,” Jon Benjamin noted.
The network formed part of the Business Linkage Program (BLP) organized by Invest in Africa. Invest in Africa is a partnership pool of leading private local enterprises offering leadership support and training for its members.
The event was also used to award three enterprises that have demonstrated excellence in their operations by inculcating strategic and professional guidance offered by leading firms such as Ernst and Young.
The awardees included; Business Transformation Award –Zeng Farms; BLP woman Entrepreneur Award (Yasmin Boamah) – African Bagg Recruitment and Rising Star Award – Quality Courier Services.