Practise Good Corporate Governance – Nana

PRESIDENT AKUFO-Addo has charged players in the tourism, hospitality and creative arts sectors to institute good corporate governance in their businesses to attract investors.

The President said this on Wednesday at the outdooring of the Tourism SME Grants, a facility under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, intended to provide emergency liquidity and relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said even though Ghana can boast of several well-round companies that have demonstrated commitment to good corporate governance, poor corporate governance has been a major factor that has led to the collapse of many businesses in the country.

He, however, indicated that currently, in the global business space, only properly governed organisations attract investors.

He reminded Ghanaian businesses that investors are prepared to buy shares in a well-governed company.

“The onus is thus on business owners to position their businesses properly for foreign investment by ensuring that they implement and practise good corporate governance,” he emphasised.

The grant is in three categories – COVID support, SME support and site upgrade.

This is intended to transform the tourism sector to stimulate economic growth to create jobs.

“It is expected that 1,500 SMEs will benefit from the grant support. In 2021, government through the Ministry of Arts and Culture, disbursed the cedi equivalent of $10 million to some 1,400 SMEs,” the President said.

This year’s grant will benefit 60% women since majority of operators in the sector are said to be female.

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the grant constitutes an essential element of efforts his ministry and government was doing to assist the tourism industry.

He called on industry players to take advantage of the grant, access it and use the funds judiciously to grow their businesses.

President of Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyameke Jnr., expressed appreciation on behalf of members of the association to government for the initiative aimed at helping the tourism sector.

He called on government to ensure that disbursement of the grants is carried out in an effective manner to reach the industry players hardly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

World Bank Support

Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Laporte, on his part, said the tourism development project, which is funded by the institution he represents, signals the growing relations between Ghana and the World Bank.

He added that the Ghana Tourism Development Project, is a perfect vehicle through which Ghana can grow its economy in these difficult times in the global economy.

He charged the beneficiaries of the grant to ensure that they invest the grants in their businesses and to have something to show in the future for what they may receive.

The Ghana Tourism Development Project, is a Government of Ghana project, funded by the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), on the other hand, is the Project Implementing Agency.

The project’s main objective is to improve tourism performance by upgrading tourism sites and developing the capacities of players in the sector which will in effect, lead to an increase in Ghana’s tourism revenues.

The project is aimed at strengthening of the tourism enabling environment by way of providing training and developing capacity of sector players, as well as market Ghana’s tourism sites globally.

It is also intended to develop tourism sites and destinations through the provision of upgrade support for publicly owned sites and to improve access to these sites.

Tourism enterprise support, is the third area of focus.

This will be done by providing financial and technical support for private tourism sector players.

The last of the four components is project management.

This will be achieved by providing and developing human and administrative resources as well as providing the requisite equipment for the project.

BY Charles Takyi-Boadu