The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce as part of efforts to celebrate Ghanaian innovation and creativity in business, has launched the maiden ‘Chamber Business Awards, 2016.

The awards, slated for 25th November, 2017 at the Banquet Hall of the State House, on the theme: “Enterprises in Transition: Recognising Innovative Businesses in Ghana,” will reward Ghanaian businesses that have remained competitive over the years.

Launching the awards at a ceremony in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Dawarnoba Baeka, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, who represented the Minister, said the timing for the awards was opportune as there was high optimism and renewed hope that the private sector would assume significant and sustainable growth.

He noted that government was committed to ensuring that the private sector led the growth agenda of the nation, thus the Ministry of Trade and industry (MoTI) and its agencies were working to deliver a business friendly environment.

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Mr Baeka said the Ministry was undertaking business regulatory reforms to improve ease of doing business in Ghana, providing tax reliefs and stimulus packages to deserving businesses, improving local content policy, instituting the national entrepreneurship and innovation programme and the one-district one-factory policy initiative.

“This, we believe, will ensure an enabling business environment critical for private sector competitiveness. Ultimately, we look forward to making Ghana the most business-friendly and people-friendly economy in Africa,” he stated.

He commended the GNCC for the move and pledged the ministry’s commitment to partner and support the Chamber to promote private sector growth, adding “It is my hope that the Chamber Business Awards will encourage businesses to be innovative and stay competitive while adhering to best business practices”.

Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso, President of the GNCC and chair for the launch, said the awards were aimed at celebrating the finest Ghanaian businesses that had demonstrated excellence in leadership, creativity and innovation in contributing to the socio-economic development of Ghana.

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He noted that while government executed its policies and programmes, aimed at mitigating challenges faced by the private sector, it was important for the private sector operators to find innovative ways to remain competitive, adding that the awards schemes served as an important way to achieve this.

He added that award winners would benefit from the goodwill of the chamber, locally and internationally, thereby enhancing the business entity’s visibility, reputation and product or service differentiation.

“Organisations with a business excellence approach gain significant benefits. It is therefore our expectation that businesses in Ghana will participate in the Chamber Business Awards 2016, which will highlight best business practices that are fundamental to sustained growth and development,” Nana Dr. Dankawoso stated.

Mr Kwabena Agyekum, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) and member of the awards planning committee, said the awards would be under three main areas: Business awards, with 16 categories, Personality awards with three categories and a Special award (non-competitive).

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He outlined the objectives of the award, including unearthing the depth of existing talents in the country by recognising excellence in Corporate Reputation Management (CRM) and acknowledging and celebrating key businesses and personalities who had contributed meaningfully to business practice in Ghana.

He said nominations for the awards opened from Tuesday 13th June to 7th July, 2017.

Business and individuals can nominate themselves or other businesses in multiple categories.

Criteria include; annual turnover, profit and tax compliance, thought leadership engagement, innovation and technology, customer service schemes, relationship and people management, corporate social responsibility, environment management and corporate reputation management.

He assured participants the awards process, adjudicated by Ernst and Young, and would be fair and credible.

GNA