The 4th Ghana Business Leaders Excellence Awards Ceremony organised by Top Brass Ghana has been held in Accra under the theme: “COVID-Era National Development Through Dynamic Business Leadership”.
In his keynote address read on his behalf the Minister of Energy Dr. Opoku Prempeh said he was particularly excited about the choice of the theme for this year’s Awards Ceremony.
This was because much of the national discourse since the year 2020 has centred around the COVID-19 pandemic whose devastation has affected literally every sector from travel and tourism to education through industry to international trade; and the repercussions have been felt throughout the globe.
The Hon. Minister also stated that many businesses have suffered severe financial crisis and some have had to even close down due to the resultant national and international economic downturn while others have had to lay off staff or re-structure in order to stay afloat.
Beyond re-structuring, Dr. Opoku Prempeh intimated that businesses have had to be innovative through the use and application of technology to position them to respond to opportunities and challenges in a rapidly evolving and globalised world.
He reiterated Government’s commitment to making the private sector the engine of economic growth. To this end, he hinted of the Ministry of Energy’s resolve to ensuring that players in the Energy Sector work together to provide the needed energy requirements at competitive rates to accelerate Government’s Industrialisation Agenda.
The Minister conceded that the current cost of providing electricity and the tariff dispensation make energy costs expensive and this ultimately affects the cost of production of goods and services.
He assured the Business Leaders that the Ministry of Energy will not relent in its efforts in re-structuring the sector through the injection of the required investments, replacement of old and obsolete equipment and the prevention of pilfering of electrical gadgets with the view to making the Ghanaian economy competitive and the preferred destination for investments in Africa as well as paving the way for business to take advantage of opportunities offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
On his part, Mr. Clement Osei Amoako , President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry lamented Ghana’s high Policy Rate which he noted was double the Policy Rate in most sister African countries.
He observed that the spread between the Policy Rate and the Lending Rate in Ghana is too wide which could be attributable to the protracted and incomplete transmission mechanisms, inefficiencies and sub-optimal micro-economic management. He accordingly called for hard work to find innovative ways to reduce the interest rate spread to ease the cost of credit in the country.
The Chamber President assured the gathering that the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry will continue to be a strategic partner in celebrating business excellence in the country.
As a business advocacy organisation, he also gave the assurance that the Chamber will continue to articulate the concerns of the business community with the view to Government addressing these concerns towards building business competitiveness in a rapidly changing environment.
He congratulated the Award Winners and expressed the hope that the conferment of the awards will spur them on to greater heights.
The Award Winners included: Mrs. Janet Abobigu, CEO, Unijay Company Limited; Mr. Harrison Kofi Abutiate, CEO, Paracelsus Pharmacy and Marketing Company Limited and President of the Ghana National Chamber of Pharmacy; Mr. Kwame Addo-Kufuor Jnr, Vice-President, Newmont Ghana and President of the ECOWAS Federation of Chambers of Mines (EFEDCOM); Mr. Peterson Ekow Afedzie, MD, Ghana Stock Exchange; Ms. Beatrice Agyeman, Group CEO, Media General; Mr. Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, CEO, Volta River Authority; Mr. Ernest Akwasi Appiah, CEO, Enepa Ventures; Mrs. Aline Badr, Business Head, Tata Africa Holding Ghana Limited and Ms. Benonita Bismarck, CEO, Ghana Shippers Authority.
The other Award Winners were: Ing. Mrs. Carlien Dorcas Bou-Chedid, President of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations; Mrs. Kakra Duffuor-Nyarko, MD, Star Life Assurance Company Limited; Mr. Michael David Harper, MD, Geodrill Ghana Limited; Mr. Michael Nsiah, CEO, Miklin Hotels Group; Mr Richard Nii-Armah Quaye, CEO Quick Angels Limited; Rev. Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, Commissioner-General, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and Mr. Edwin Provencal, CEO, Bulk Oil Storage and Transport Company Limited.
Dr. Daniel McKorley, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Mcdan Group of Companies was decorated as the overall Best Ghana Business Leader with the topmost Platinum Award.
According to Mr. Isaac Dakwa, Director of Top Brass Ghana, who is a retired Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Top Brass Ghana was mandated by the Ghana 60 Years On Anniversary Planning Committee to organise the Diamond Jubilee Business Leaders Excellence Awards in 2017 to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Ghana’s Independence.
The rationale for the Diamond Jubilee Awards Scheme, he pointed out, was to personally honour businessmen and women who had distinguished themselves across the spectrum of economic activity, and in the process, made remarkable contributions to Ghana’s development during the 60 years of Independence.
He also explained that after the Diamond Jubilee Awards Ceremony, several of the Award Winners expressed their satisfaction regarding the relevance and desirability in instituting the Ceremony as an annual Awards Scheme.
Hence, the designation of the Awards Scheme was changed the following year, 2018, from Diamond Jubilee Business Leaders Excellence Awards to Ghana Business Leaders Excellence Awards Scheme to be organised annually by Top Brass Ghana to honour outstanding and deserving captains of industry and commerce.