Upper East: Stakeholders empowered on corporate governance to take advantage of AfCFTA

The National African Peer Review Mechanism (NAPRM), in collaboration with the Commission for Civic Education, has engaged the district oversight committees in the Upper East Region, on corporate governance to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The stakeholders, including business associations, community and faith-based organisations, were drawn from 10 municipal and district and assemblies in the region. At the workshop held in Bolgatanga, they were taken through an overview of the NAPRM activities, the role of the district oversight committees (DOCs), and corporate governance in enhancing Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises readiness for the AfCFTA market. It aimed at equipping them with the requisite knowledge and skills to fully utilise the opportunities the AfCFTA offers, while empowering them for a better implementation,?being the local structures the APRM works with through the NCCE. Mr Samuel Asare Akuamoah, a member of the Governing Council, NAPRM, and Deputy Cha irman of NCCE, touched on the necessity of the workshop following a targeted review it undertook in 2023. The review examined key corporate governance and intra-African trade challenges that must be addressed to facilitate the AfCFTA implementation in Ghana. It was carried out on the theme: 'Corporate Governance as a Catalyst for the Implementation of the AfCFTA in the Republic of Ghana'. Findings of the Targeted Review were that most citizens had inadequate knowledge of the United Nations Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals, and African Union Agenda 2063 aspirations, including the AfCFTA.? Those were likely to affect citizens ownership and participation in the implementation of the global development frameworks at the community level and undermine the private sector's ability to take advantage of the business opportunities, hence the need for the sensitisation, he said. Madam Winnifred Asare, the Acting Executive Secretary, NAPRM-Governing Council, indicated that the district oversight commit tees, having been educated, were expected to sensitise the business community at the local level. That, she said, would also enable them to identify opportunities in the AfCFTA and benefit from it.? 'AfCFTA is a very big market for everybody, and the understanding of the business community at the local level is key to us, so we are hoping that the committees will be a mouthpiece of the African Peer Review Mechanism to build the capacities of the business community at the local level,' she stated. Alhaji Osman Alhassan Suhuyini, Member, Institute of Directors, reiterated that good corporate governance was essential to the success of every business and called on the DOCs to abide by the laid-down rules and regulations in their organisations. Mr Evans Adeba, a participant, said the workshop had been insightful, giving him valuable information to guide him and the business community in utilizing the opportunities of the AFCFTA. 'I will endeavor to sensitise my colleagues back home,' he added. Source: Ghana News Agency