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Wed, Jul

THERE IS “NO ECONOMIC PROSPERITY WITHOUT WOMEN’’, SAYS AWAL

Business & Economy

The Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has expressed worry about low participation by women in the country’s private sector.

The Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has expressed worry about low participation by women in the country’s private sector.

In his opinion, Ghana cannot build a prosperous economy without a shift in the trend where most business owners and members of executive boards of businesses continue to be men.

Inclusiveness

“When I look at the membership in this building, less than 10 per cent are women. We cannot build a prosperous economy without inclusiveness and I want you to deliberately help women succeed,” he said.

Dr Awal said this at a breakfast meeting of chief executive officers to commemorate the centenary celebrations of the Ghana International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Accra. The meeting was held under the theme “Creating an Enabling Environment for Business to Work for Everyone, Every Day and Everywhere in Ghana”.

“Deliberate support”

Addressing the ICC members and guests, the Minister said that less than 30 per cent of board and executive positions in Ghana are occupied by women. That does not help business, he argued.

“You cannot develop this country without deliberate support to women’s businesses. Sixty-two per cent of all new businesses in this country for the past 50 years have been funded by women – 38 per cent of that are women [aged] less than 35 years.

“I want to urge ICC to have policies and programmes to develop the capacity of our women to do business if we want to grow Ghana beyond where we are,” he said.

Leverage

Dr Awal called on the ICC to use its experience and leverage to support already established businesses in Ghana to go beyond the first generation.

Research shows that 75 per cent of businesses in Ghana do not live beyond the founders, he said, with only 15 to 20 per cent of children deciding to enter the family firm.

Justice Samuel Date-Bah, chairman of the drafting committee of experts for the Companies Act 2019, took guests at the breakfast meeting through the new law and its implications for business in Ghana.

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