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Business News of Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Source: B&FT

‘Make taxation simple for local businesses’

Herman Chinery-Hesse Herman Chinery-Hesse

Software entrepreneur and founder of SOFTtribe, Herman Chinery-Hesse has urged government’s tax authorities and collectors to focus on making taxation steps simple for local businesses, in order to empower local investors and rake in ‘local direct investment’.

“It is time we consider local direct investment. Our tax collectors should not concentrate on foreign partners. Taxation steps should be simplified”he said.

According to Mr Chinery-Hesse, the tax system should be “less hostile” to entrepreneurs and local businesses alike.

Starting a business in Ghana comes with its hassle including bureaucratic systems, nepotism and other factors, particulary for the local person or startup.

“Bureacrats bully Ghanaian companies and this is really bad” he said.

He also bemoaned the practice “where industries are not being encouraged to exist. In Ghana expanding business is very hard”

Land tenure system, he reckons is an issue as far as expanding business is concerned. “I think there has to be a land tenure insurance or protection for businesses”

On driving agriculture forward, the SOFTtribe CEO, stated that “we should choose three or four brands and push our efforts behind its success, we have to move away from the traditional ones”

Speaking at a roundtable event in Accra, to present the findings of a report entitled entitled “Job Creation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Entreprenuers, Governments, Innovation,” Chinery-Hesse expressed worry about the lack of a comprehensive Ghanaian company which is devoted to “mentoring young entreprenuers”.

Mr Chinery-Hesse also pointed out that the country’s reliance on export was partly due to “tax breaks exposing the country to exports” which are mostly given new foreign companies to lure them to invest in the country.

The research is the result of a study of 4,000 Africans aged between 16 to 40 across Angola, Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria.

Other speakers including Mawuena Trebarh, CEO of GIPC acknowledged that “inevitably it is entreprenuers that will drive the economy in the next five years”

“We need to expand our scope to embrace more with what is coming our way. Tremendous amount of work has to be put in place to support economies of scale” she added.

The research found that 62% of Ghanaians believe that entrepreneurs have the capacity to create or offer jobs, while 37% agree that entrepreneurs can be counted on to introduce new products and services.