Transform local firms to global champions—Martyn Mensah

March 10, 2017
Source: Benson AFFUL/thebftonline.com/Ghana
Transform local firms to global champions—Martyn Mensah

The Chief Executive Officer of UT Group, Martyn Mensah, has urged government to strategically pick potential business champions in areas which are exclusive to the country and transform them into global giants.

The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government has stressed that it will support local businesses and make them attractive to investors in order to create large viable local companies in the country. Mr. Mensah believes that this can be achieved through a concerted effort to identify area where the country has a competitive advantage.

“Of course, this assumes that we will conduct a robust assessment of the local, regional and global environments. A lot of thought must go into identifying areas in which we have genuine, sustainable and differentiating advantage and therefore which, with focused investment, will catapult us ahead of everyone else.

Once our areas of existing or potential advantage have been identified, it would be interesting to see if government can target entities for enterprise level support,” he said.

According to him, the Korean story gives a clear tip about what Ghana can do so that industry, business and entrepreneurs can become the true motivation force of the country’s development.

He said by strategically targeting sectors where the only pre?qualification is intellectual horsepower, like the new IT frontier, there is nothing that can stop the country from tapping into the raw ingenuity and building its own tech hubs.

“I just downloaded an ingenious addressing app called SnooCode developed by a Ghanaian. I am sure there are many more ideas waiting to be birthed. Let us look at agro?processing and value enhancing agricultural ventures and set ourselves the goal of building end-to-end value chains.

Where locally-produced tinned tomatoes can be traced back to a farm in the Northern Region, chili sauces to the small?holdings in the savannah plains of Greater Accra, mango purees to plantations around the Dodowa forest and organic honey to hives that hang off the rocks on the Kwahwu escarpment,” Mr. Mensah said.

This, he said, is the thinking that should steer the ‘one district-one factory’ agenda, saying the entire value-chain must be strategically distributed and the linkages to value?adding nodes must be well thought out.

He added that priority must be given to infrastructure investments which modernise and connect the strategic nodes, enabling the country to achieve high efficiency.

The business enablers such as financiers, telecom companies and utility providers, preferably from the private sector, he said, must be given the means, the regulatory space and the incentives to facilitate the growth of each node.

He said Ghana must offer to the continent and to the world a new development paradigm–a new model of economic independence.

Mr. Mensah said government must concern itself with providing the regulatory, legislative, policy and infrastructure environment to get the Ghanaian entrepreneur to step-up to the plate.