An Enterprise Map of Ghana – Book Launch

On Monday 16th April 2012, the IGC-Ghana Programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance organised an event to launch the Book: An Enterprise Map of Ghana, written by John Sutton (LSE) and Bennet Kpentey (Sync Consult).

The event was attended by key policymakers from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MOFEP), Ghana investment Promotion Council (GIPC), Ghana Export Promotion Authority, National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI), Factories Inspectorate Division, etc. The event was also attended by key stakeholders, representatives of foreign Ambassadors, research and development agencies, the media and members of the general public (including academic researchers and Entrepreneurs).

The event which was chaired by the Director General of PEF, Nana Osei Bonsu, included a presentation by Professor John Sutton, a discussion session before climaxing with the launch of the book by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Ms Hanna Tetteh. It started with some opening remarks by the MC Kofi Addo (Principal Commercial Officer, MoTI) who highlighted the fact that the Enterprise Map of Ghana was the second book in the Enterprise map series of books funded by the IGC, following the Ethiopia edition.

The IGC-Ghana Country Director, Dr Nii Sowa followed the Chairman’s opening remarks with a welcome note that focused on giving the audience a brief background about IGC, its vision and how it works. He also talked about the opportunities offered by IGC to policymakers and the various ways IGC research can help shape policy. Following the welcome note, Professor John Sutton delivered his presentation titled: An Enterprise Map of Ghana. Professor Sutton, began his presentation by discussing the motivations for the book. He pointed out that while people tend to make statements and generalise about the industrial capabilities of countries like Ghana, there is a lack of adequate and uniform description of the capabilities of existing enterprises. He noted that, in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a lack of a single source of information that tells where the countries are and where they have come from in terms of industrial capabilities.

He stated that the book presents the raw facts and stories in a non-technical and non-controversial way so that the needed discussions on Enterprise policy can be grounded in a shared, correct understanding of the existing capabilities. He explained that this will facilitate everybody “singing from the same hymn sheet” and “getting up to speed” on “what is there and what is not there; where it came from and where it can go”. According to Professor Sutton, the book attempts to provide an appropriate description and avoids the attempt to be comprehensive. The methodology focused on going for the main stories that will help answer questions like: What will potential investors need to know about the industries in Ghana; what areas of business are already represented in Ghana; and who is doing what?

The book provides profiles for each of the major industries in Manufacturing, Agri-business and Construction. It provides profiles of the leading firms in each industry (History, origins, current capabilities, etc). The book highlights the fact that gold, cocoa and bauxite account for 83.2 percent of Ghana’s Exports while metals, woods, plastics and rubber, fats and oils and pharmaceuticals account for the majority of the remaining 16.8 percent. In all, 27 firms account for over half of the total exports from Ghana.

On the basis of findings from the Enterprise map study, Professor Sutton argued that Ghana’s recent growth success can only be sustained if crucial policies are designed and implemented to help industry develop since the main contributor to Ghana recent growth (agriculture) will not continue to grow as much in the next 10 years. He explained that with the discovery and production of oil, Ghana can prepare itself for sustained growth if it finds ways of linking the FDI that will come as a result of the oil with industrial development. It terms of the origins of current capabilities, the books shows that 13 out of the 50 leading firms across the industries are of foreign origin, 15 where industrial start-ups, 12 started as trading firms, 6 were started by the state while 4 came from public/foreign origins.

Discussions were followed by the launch of the book by the Minister, Hon. Ms Hanna Tetteh, who saw the book as an important piece of resource that will spark informed policy debates that are backed by facts and a better understanding of the private sector. She also paid tribute to the late Gobind Nakani who had introduced her to the IGC. In his concluding remarks, Nana Osei Bonsu, the Chairman for the event congratulated and thanked Professor Sutton and Bennet Kpentey for a “good job done” and added that the book will go a long way assist the dialogue between the public and private sector.

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