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Business News of Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Source: B&FT

Ghana Economic Forum 2013 launched

The second edition of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF), a forum that brings together decisionmakers and business leaders to deliberate on key issues affecting the country’s economic fortunes, has been launched in Accra.

This year’s edition, which is scheduled to take place in March, is under the theme “The Role of Leadership in Driving National Economic Prosperity” and will also address the current leadership challenges and role of leadership in driving the country’s economic prosperity.

Speaking at the media launch in Accra yesterday, the Executive Director of the Business and Financial Times Mrs. Edith Dankwa said the GEF “seeks to bring together industry chieftains and thought leaders in civil society to discuss and debate key issues affecting the Ghanaian economy, and offer solutions to help overcome the challenges in order to enhance the achievement of the country’s economic development plans.

“The event will take a look at the role of leadership in driving national economic prosperity. The Forum will centre on leadership in private and public sector organisations across various sectors of the economy.

“This year, we will follow up on the outcome of the forum to ensure that the recommendations are implemented. We don’t have all the solutions, but the little that we are able to come out with should be implemented,” Mrs. Dankwa said.

Madam Jeanette Ndhlovu, the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, said: “Businesses can play a pivotal role if they look beyond the narrow confines of their borders. It is time for Africans to engage each other and share ideas on how to serve our continent, which is on its way to prosperity,” she said.

“Africa is likely to extricate the global economy from its crisis. The era of Afro-pessimism is coming to an end.”

She further called on businesses to be responsible corporate entities and support the development agenda of countries in which they operate.

Mr. Martin Ofori, the Acting Managing Director of First Atlantic Bank, said: “Leadership is the number-one solution that can transform the economy. We will need to have very successful individual leadership that is able to harness the opportunities available so it can have the needed trickle-down effect. What we see is that they operate within a certain environment -- the enabling environment must be created at the centre.

“Government must create an enabling environment for individual entrepreneurs and visionaries. Leadership at the governmental level is critical,” he said.

The country’s economy grew by 14.4 percent and 7.1 percent in 2011 and 2012 respectively -- following the discovery and the commencement of commercial production of oil. Ghana’s natural gas is also expected to be piped on-shore for processing by the end of September.

Crude oil production from the Jubilee Field is inching closer to its peak of 120,000 barrels per day, after two new wells were started and existing well challenges were resolved.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Ghana’s economic growth to be 7.8 percent this year; and the government has promised an average of 8 percent per annum between 2013-16, with inflation below 10 percent.

Civil society groups have therefore called for transparency and accountability to guarantee that revenue accruing from oil and gas resources are used to benefit the populace.

This is what informed the creation of this unique platform to build capacity in the current crop of leaders, as well as address the leadership challenges the country faces.

Panellists at this year’s forum will discuss the topic “What Kind of Leadership Does Ghana Need to Maximise Her True Economic Potential”. Speakers expected at the forum include Professor Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, CEIBS Africa Programme; Mr. Kofi Amoabeng, UT Bank; Mrs. Nadine Rix, Nyansa Africa; and Mrs. Doreen Owusus-Fianko, MD Ghana Airport Company Limited.

Sponsors for this year’s edition include: Access Bank Limited, First Atlantic Bank, rlg Communications Limited, UT Holdings, Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited, Ecobank Ghana, SIC Insurance, Krif Ghana Limited, Virgin Atlantic, Nyansa Africa, Voltic Ghana Limited, and Symposia Consult Ghana.

Strategic Partners include: Ghana-German Economic Association, American Chamber of Commerce, China Europe International Business School, ACCA Ghana, Deloitte, and the International Foundation for African Innovation.

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