The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG) has called on government to give clear directions to Ghanaian businesses to enable them take full advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), based on the country’s comparative advantages in trade.
The National President of CIMG, Dr. Daniel Kasser Tee, made this call when he was speaking at the launch of the 32nd Annual National Marketing Performance Awards held recently in Accra on the theme ‘Repositioning Ghana to leverage AfCFTA for economic development’.
He indicated that the theme was chosen to help draw the attention of the nation Ghana and all business entities – particularly those involved in cross-border trade in Africa – to the many opportunities available on the back of the AfCFTA.
Dr. Kasser Tee further said: “As we are well aware, the objective of AfCFTA is to, among other things, create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business, persons and investments paving the way for accelerating establishment of the Continental Customs Union.
“This certainly offers opportunities for Ghanaian companies to be early birds by reorganising their efforts on the international marketing front to take advantage of the situation. It is our expectation in choosing this theme that Ghana, as a corporate brand, will be repositioned based on its comparative advantages.
“This, we believe, will serve as the strongest signal to prompt businesses to channel their resources into producing goods and services for which Ghana, as a collective, has comparative advantages. We cannot derive the required benefits of AfCFTA without first harnessing and marshalling our core competencies as a nation to take advantage in our export drive around the continent.”
To ensure long-term success, Dr. Kasser Tee indicated that Ghana must first work at repositioning the nation, based on the best set of comparative advantages in trade across the region. He intimated that Ghana must also develop local businesses into export champions, who will be able to compete favourably with the giants of the continent.
On the CIMG awards, Dr. Kasser Tee said: “As we are all aware, the CIMG awards have today come to be accepted as Ghana’s most prestigious and longest-standing local awards, since its inception in 1990 (for the 1989 financial year). This is partly because the CIMG has been able to successfully organise 31 previous awards without any hitches or controversy.
“Within the period, the CIMG awards have contributed in building product and corporate brands, as well as personality brands, projecting some of these onto the international arena where they compete favourably with globally known brands. Based on these awards, we have seen many businesses reformulate their corporate strategies and drastically change their business operating models – enabling them to be marketing-oriented by meeting the key requirements of market focus, integrated marketing, long-term profitability and customer orientation”.
He advised corporate institutions to constantly subject themselves to scrutiny by identifying their strengths and weaknesses and keeping themselves in readiness for external shocks and well-prepared to take advantage of opportunities emanating in their specific industries, and in the economy at large.
Throwing more light on the awards, the National Vice President and Chairman of the Awards Planning and Select Committee, Mrs. Agnes Emefa Essah said: “The CIMG has resolved to keep the stakes as high and relevant as possible, so that the standards by which we assess individual and corporate performances are not compromised. We are committed to keeping the awards process simple, transparent and fair. It is this level of commitment that has guided us, as a responsive institution, to constantly introduce new and progressive ideas; all aimed at adding value to our processes as well as new award categories”.
She also stated that, this year, the Institute is led by the desire to project Marketing as a tool that is relevant for the development of our nation, Ghana. Hence, the choice of theme.
The Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the CIMG, Mr. Kwabena Agyekum, gave an account of the historical journey of the Institute, right from its inception in 1981 to the present. He narrated how, as a young Institute, the CIMG moved from one office location to another until December 2017 – when the Institute finally moved into its own facility at Baatsona. The Institute finally got its bill, the CIMG Bill 2019, passed by Parliament and assented to by the President of the Republic into an Act of Parliament in 2020 – giving birth to The Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana Act, 2020 (Act 1021). This paved the way for the launch of Ghana’s first Professional Marketing Qualifications in April, 2021 – ahead of the CIMG@40 that was also launched on the night.
Some founding members of the Institute were on hand to give their fond memories of the CIMG story. These were: Madame Joyce Mahama; Nana Yaa Young Gyampo; Professor Tim Acquah-Hayford, (Past President); Mr. Kwame Adjei-Sefah (Past President); and Mr. Frank Appiah (Past President).