The 2019 Edition of the Enhancing Development of Ghanaian Entrepreneurs Conference 2019 (#EDGECon2019), which took place in Accra, Ghana, from 16 to 17 December 2019. EBN and other Ghanaian business ecosystem partners organised this event; it was supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (UKaid) under the Private Sector Policy Facility (PSPF) Component of BEEP. With the overall theme ‘Doing Business in Ghana – Anxiety or Assurance?’, the conference presented a platform for stakeholders to deliberate strategies aimed at improving the Ease of Doing Business in Ghana.
The World Bank’s Doing Business 2019 report ranked Ghana 118th out of 190 economies on the ease of doing business (EODB) index. The country dropped from 114 in 2019 to 118 in 2020. Over the last five years, Ghana has recorded only a few positive reforms on the EODB index, counterbalanced by a series of actions making it harder for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to do business. The key constraints to the ease of Doing Business turn to bite the most, MSMEs which form over 70% of all business in Ghana.
Over the course of the 2-day conference, over 270 participants from some 90 different organisations (outside EBN) discussed elements of the Ease of Doing Business Survey: starting (and running) a business; registering property; paying taxes; getting credit, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. #EDGECon2019 took particular interest in Government’s Digitization Agenda and Private Sector Credit support measures announced in Budget 2020.
The conference made clear the coming business dynamics and the need for the business regulatory environment to adjust to leverage on the opportunities of AfCFTA in order to expand production & increase export of local products and businesses. There was consensus on the great potential and market available for the SMEs in attendance and the need for continuous multi-stakeholder advocacy from, especially youth and women-led businesses to make emerging policies responsive to our needs.
The adoption of the #EDGECon2019 Call to Action for The Ease of Doing Business by over 270 participants recapitulated the power of business ecosystem players to transform global goals into local actions, thus localizing the SDGs and building partnerships that are inclusive and equitable, and which support decent work and entrepreneurship.