GEF 2020 opens today

  • Discussions to focus on economic revival

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will today Monday, November 9 open the 2020 Ghana Economic Forum, a platform that has become the country’s most coveted stage where policymakers, business leaders, members of academia and other experts meet to deliberate on issues which influence government policy and decision-making.

The ninth edition of GEF, which will be held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra, is appropriately themed ‘Resetting the economy beyond COVID-19; Building economic resilience and self-sufficiency’ as it aims at finding practical solutions for businesses to recover from impacts of the pandemic.

The president is expected to inspire hope and confidence in people, and highlight government’s commitment to ensuring that businesses and individuals rise above the challenges presented by the pandemic to bring the economy back on the path of growth.

Besides the president, the two-day event will also bring on board Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and other ministers of state; Governor of the central bank, Dr. Ernest Addison; heads of some state institutions and agencies; Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area, Wamkele Mene; Managing Directors of banks, CEOs of top industries; and leading members of the academic community.

Discussions will centre around topics on the economy, energy sector, agriculture sector, continental free trade, among others.

The Ghana Economic Forum saw inception in 2012, bringing together captains of industry and thought-leaders to discuss and debate key issues affecting the Ghanaian economy and offer solutions to enhance the country’s economic development plans. The forum remains the foremost creative force for engaging the country’s top business leaders in collaborative activities to shape the country’s economic agenda.

For eight years, the Ghana Economic Forum’s mission has driven policies aimed at steering the country’s economy on the right path.  The event aims at bringing out new thinking and policy alternatives to help shape the country’s agenda for economic growth.

The GEF has over the years contributed to shaping government programmes and introduced some of the innovative policies in the economy. Among policies the forum has introduced over the years is included local content in the oil and gas sector, which was conceived at the GEF. The idea to develop a concrete local content policy to ensure Ghanaians play a significant part in the country’s oil and gas sector was strongly pushed by participants at the first and second editions of the GEF. This formed the basis for the government to develop a local content policy that secures the interests of local businesses within the oil and gas space.

Then came the establishment of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund: the idea to establish the GIIF was postulated at the third edition of the GEF. The GIIF was subsequently set up with the mandate to mobilize, manage, coordinate and provide financial resources for investment in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects in Ghana.

The Energy Sector Levy is also another policy. Prior to the introduction of the energy sector levy, the idea and modalities of same were extensively discussed at the fourth edition of the GEF.

Removal of ‘Nuisance’ taxes: at the height of a challenging macro-economic environment four years ago, participants at the 2014/2015 edition of the GEF clamoured for the abolishment of some of the taxes they consider ‘burdensome’. This gained the attention of the then-minority party which first proposed abolishing those taxes in its Manifesto. The Akufo-Addo-led administration hence abolished the said taxes when given the mandate to govern the country in 2016.

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