The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) – Sekondi-Takoradi branch, in collaboration with Bank of Africa, has held its Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Breakfast Meeting in Takoradi.
The meeting discussed topics such as the impact of 2023 budget and economic policies on businesses and strategies to overcome them, snapshots of the country’s economy in 2022, current interventions and implications, recovery initiatives, as well as the International Monetary Fund deal.
Evans Asare, Associate Director – Deal Advisory at KPMG, speaking at the event, urged businesses to look at their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) structures.
“ESG has become a topic because everybody is talking about sustainability, and in planning to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by the 2030 timeline, it has become essential that companies look at the environmental, social and then government practices to be sure that they are compliant, and be able to meet best performances,” he noted.
“With financial institutions, a lot of them are dealing with international establishments, and there is the need to be compliant in terms of ESG. Also, financial institutions are giving money to businesses, and it is required of them to ensure that where the funding is going is environmentally sustainable. So they are not financing businesses that are polluting the environment, using child labour or taking advantage of women, for instance. These are some of the issues that are coming to the fore,” he explained.
According to Mr. Asare, governance is also one of the leagues of ESG which has to do with corporate governance. “So how do we ensure that we have proper board systems or structures – a framework to guide the way the company is governed as well as proper codes of ethics.”
He added that a lot of the international financing development agencies, such as International Development Finance Corporation from the US, International Finance Corporation, among others, are now demanding ESG frameworks as a condition for accessing support.
He further encouraged businesses across the country to understand the trend in the industry and build alliances, adding: “Building alliances helps you to cut down cost and gives you opportunities to explore, extend your market reach in terms of supply chain, among others”.
Mr. Asare noted that with the current economic situation in the country, industries, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises ought to digitise their businesses for both local and international prospects.
Also, he advised businesses to have a contingency plan for unforeseen circumstances.
Lord Kwame Segbeawu, Western Regional Chairman of GNCCI, on his part, said the Chamber represents the voice of the business community, with total commitment to promoting efforts at propelling the country’s economy to higher heights.
“As an autonomous business support organisation, we serve as a link between established businesses, the emerging sector, and government at the various levels while offering our members a myriad of business support services. We hope these discussions will help our businesses to flourish so that we formulate the needed strategies to smoothly run our respective businesses to increase profitability,” he added.