THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN GHANA
THE DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN GHANA
Ghana is a developing country in Western Africa, and the entrepreneurial environment is vibrant and growing in comparison to its other West African counterparts. The economy of Ghana is supposed to be growing at a faster rate than China's. The Ghanaian business structure is stable and the government promotes business and entrepreneurship. However, there is a high rate of inflation which was caused by previous governments devaluing the currency to promote exports at the expense of local consumption, currently inflation has been reduced to about 20 percent. The country is rich in cocoa, gold and diamonds and lumber.
Ghana became the first nation in the sub-Saharan Africa to achieve independence after taking getting its independence from British colonial rule on 6 March, 1957. Ghana was called the "Gold Coast a name that aptly described the country's wealth in gold and natural resources. Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has roughly twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa.
The main export commodities in Ghana include cocoa beans and products, copra, cut flowers, cut diamonds, food ingredients, fruit, gold, manganese, timber and tea and coffee, while the main imports include fuel, intermediate goods, machinery, petroleum products, tobaccos, chemical products, consumer goods and crude oil. Ghana is making significant progress on the economic front. The nation is controlling expenditures and monetary growth, maintaining a stable exchange rate, lowering inflation and interest rates, developing a trade policy framework, actively promoting investment, addressing structural deficiencies in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and strengthening good governance and transparency. However, cumbersome government requirements are serious obstacles to business development.
This former British colony once known as the Gold Coast set her focus on the gold, ivory, and slave trade in her earlier years creating the Ashanti Empire but today is widely viewed as one of Africa's most stable democracies and is a major cocoa producer for the world.
The country has holds out a lot of attractions notably: rich mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, manganese, limestone, bauxite, iron ore as well as various clays and granite deposits. In 1999, Ghana produced 2,620,096 million ounces of gold and 684,033.4 carats of diamonds Ghana is the second largest country in Africa. Tema, the industrial city, which is adjunct to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, is on the Greenwich Meridian.
The Ghana Business Code is a series of prescriptions based on the universal principles referred to in the UN Global Compact 10 Principles, relating to human rights, labour standards, the environment, and anti-corruption.
Compliance with code of conduct is increasingly becoming a requirement in supply chain management, business match-making, business mentoring schemes, financing, national and international procurement.
The Code is intended to present best practices by adding requirement beyond core labour rights. Although, not all human rights are covered, there will be a continuous process of updating and refining the Code, which will include periodic revisions. The Code does not substitute sound legislation protecting the interests of employees, customers, or shareholders.
The Ghana Business Code is the first code ever formulated to apply to all segments of the national business community. Continuous strong collaboration between the stakeholders is crucial for the code to become a vehicle for improved business practice to the benefit of the people of Ghana; the stakeholders are committed to establishing awards and other enforcement mechanisms. The Code may serve to give guidance internally in a company and it may also serve to describe to the outside world how a business as an entity behaves.
The Ghana Business Code may add value to your business in terms of:
Branding opportunity to attract foreign business operations and investment into Ghana;
Potential of replacing costly individual supply chain management systems;
Increasing your ability to attract and retain the highest qualified employees;
Increasing employee motivation and loyalty and thereby productivity;
Creating brand value of 'best business practice' towards consumers
It is expected that all business comply with the laws of Ghana; where laws or specific industry codes provide for additional protection to the one prescribed by the Ghana Business Code, such as protection shall also be ensured.
Businesses have made much success in the agriculture and industrial industries. Growth in those sectors has increased on the average of nearly 5% every year. In the past they just traded with Europeans, but has started to add the United States into their plans. Ghana’s trade has grown since they joined ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). Just that alone has forced the government to keep tabs on bad business practices. These changes have made investing into Ghana quite lucrative.
There are some challenges to enter into the Ghana market. First of all the Ghanaian have very small purchasing power. The country has a very high inflation rate and they are very unfamiliar with American products. It is highly advisable to have a local agent or distributor that thoroughly understands the Ghanaian economy.
Entrepreneurship in Ghana, International Entrepreneurship, Accessed from: http://www.internationalentrepreneurship.com/african_entrepreneurship/Ghana_entrepreneur.asp [February 24, 2011].