The Ghana Association of Restructuring & Insolvency Advisors (GARIA) concluded its week-long celebration with the 3rd Presidential Fundraising Dinner and Awards Night.
The event brought together industry leaders, government officials and distinguished guests to recognise outstanding achievements in the field of restructuring and insolvency. The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception, fostering networking among attendees who eagerly anticipated the main ceremony.
Her Ladyship Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, Chairperson of the GARIA Trust Fund, in her opening remarks, noted that the economic realities of these times bring the relevance of GARIA into sharp focus.
“Clear regulations are invaluable for holding professionals to high standards and for ensuring that the integrity of the insolvency process is maintained to protect the interest of all stakeholders involved, including creditors, debtors and the public.
“In its absence, the already overburdened courts becomes the point of reference for discerning and framing best practice standards which is neither desirable or appropriate for the development of an efficient and vibrant business rescue industry,” she said, noting that a strengthened GARIA is good not just for business, but the economy in general.
Mr. Felix Addo, President of GARIA, delivered an inspiring speech underscoring the association’s dedication to promoting excellence in restructuring and insolvency. He highlighted GARIA’s collaboration with stakeholders to protect creditors’ rights and contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.
Mr. Addo emphasised GARIA’s active role in global dialogues on insolvency practices. “Over the past year, GARIA has been actively engaged in representing Ghana at various international fora,” he said, touching on the recent journal launch featuring contributions from Nigeria, Australia and South Africa.
Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, speaking on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, highlighted progress in passing the Corporate Insolvency and Restructuring Acts (CIRA) 2020. She emphasised the transformative impact of the new company’s law (Act 992) and the ongoing parliamentary review of the corporate insolvency bill.
Ms. Osei-Opare revealed that the CIRA 2020 bill had received Cabinet approval and was now under consideration by parliament.
“I am sure you would like to know where we are with regards with the CIRA bill. I can report that the bill, under the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, has received Cabinet’s approval and has been referred to Parliament for consideration; and I understand that very soon, the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will start work on this important bill,” she said.
Path to Chartered Institute status
The passage of the CIRA 2020 bill would mark a significant milestone, transforming GARIA into a Chartered Institute of Restructuring and Insolvency Practitioners. This institute aims to elevate professional standards and expertise in the field, contributing to Ghana’s legal framework and business practices.
The night served as a platform to raise funds for GARIA’s future initiatives, including expanding training programmes, organising more industry conferences, and supporting distressed businesses. A silent auction of the GARIA Journal allowed attendees to bid on exclusive items to support the association’s cause.
GARIA Excellence Awards
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the GARIA Excellence Awards, recognising individuals and organisations making significant contributions to the industry. Notable sponsors and partners were acknowledged for their support. Among the individuals on hand to present the awards were Mr. Kyle Kelhofer, Senior Country Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Mrs. Jemima Oware, the Registrar of Companies.
Organisations recognised included MTN Ghana, Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Tampico Ghana, Office of the Registrar of Companies (ORC), Ghana Revenue Authority, Zeepay Ghana, B 5 Plus; Ernst and Young Ghana, BOST, Ghana Gas, PwC Ghana, KEK Insurance Brokers, KPMG Ghana, PMO Ghana, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), MODEC and Ecobank Ghana, Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).
For the 2023 special recognition for outstanding contribution to insolvency practice, the awardees were Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo, Her Ladyship Justice Sophia A.B. Akuffo, Prof. Ebow Bondzi-Simpson, Audrey Naa Dei Kotey, and Adelaide Benneh Prempeh.
Certificates of partnership were presented to the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana (CIB Ghana) and the America Chamber of Commerce Ghana (AMCHAM).
Writers for the maiden Insolvency Journal were recognised for their contributions. They include Akua Essuman-Ocran; Dr. Eric Levenstein & Brandon Starr; Anthony Idigbe; Okorie Kalu & Nnamdi Ben-Igwenyi; Clara Amarteifio-Taylor & Esther Addei; Courage A. Asabagna; Elsie Addo Awadzi; Felix Addo, Dr. Eric Levenstein & Nastascha Harduth; Piers Marsden; Prof. Justice S.K. Date-Bah, and Prosper Melomey.