Stakeholders have called on the private sector to champion the fight against corruption through collective collaborations and action in the light of the implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The call was made at the Business Integrity Forum dubbed “Positioning for the AfCFTA and the fight against corruption: the critical role of the Ghanaian Private Sector”. It was organized by the Alliance for Integrity under a GIZ project.
Advisory Group Chair of Alliance for Integrity Ghana, Ronke Ampiah, highlighted the need for open discussions among private sector actors to outline the challenges affecting businesses.
She advocated for active peer-to-peer engagements and the best-practices across the world, especially on how to harness the full benefits of cross border trade, while mitigating the risks of corruption.
“There’s the need for collective action of public and private sector and the civil society in the fight against corruption,” she stressed
Setting the tone for the discussions, the Executive Director of Private Enterprises Federation & Chairman of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Nana Osei Bonsu, underscored the business and investment opportunities that AfCFTA holds for the private sector. He emphasized the attendant challenges of a liberalized market, including the apparent connection between trade and corruption.
Nana Bonsu urged the private sector not to neglect the discussions on the operationalization of the AfCFTA to only the government, but actively engage in a set-up exercise by presenting a common front to government. He encouraged the private sector, especially SMEs who make up about 90% of businesses to join any relevant sector associations, forge partnerships and build enough capacity to be able to withstand shocks that may emanate from the eventual implementation of the AfCFTA.
He further advised the private sector to outline what it needs to be done to survive the AfCFTA and prevent corruption during engagements with government.
Participants at the Forum included top-level executives from private sector entities, public sector institutions, civil society organizations and international agencies.
Source: Eric Nii Sackey || erysaco93@yahoo. com