TRADE WITH GHANA
Business Environment Regulatory Reforms
The Business Regulatory Reform (BRR) is a 3-year initiative of the Government of Ghana coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, and implemented in partnership with various stakeholders. It consists of 7 components aimed at making Ghana the most transparent and efficiently regulated business environment in Africa.
Ease of Doing Business Reform Initiative
A coordinated national programme to improve Ghana’s performance in key indicators and annual ranking on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. This is important because it focuses on selected regulations relevant to the life cycle of domestic small and medium sized businesses. The indicators measures in the index include:
- Starting a Business
- Dealing with Construction/Permits
- Enforcing Contracts
- Resolving Insolvency
- Registering Property
- Getting Electricity
- Getting Credit
- Protecting / Investors
- Paying Taxes
- Trading across borders
The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) of the World Economic Forum is an equally important benchmark that will be tracked to ensure that other social and economic reforms being implemented by Government contribute to improved performance in the GCI.
One-Stop Registry of all Business Regulations
An inventory of business-related acts, legislative instruments, regulatory notices and administrative directives, will be made available in a single electronic registry (e-Registry). This will provide businesses with an easily accessible, non-stop repository of up-to-date information on all business regulations in force in Ghana.
A Voice for All in Public Consultations
An interactive web portal for public consultation with government on business-related policy, legal and regulatory changes. Minimum standards for transparency in public consultation will be introduced, including a consultations schedule published on the portal with timelines for receiving inputs from interested stakeholders. The different inputs from the portal will complement the inputs usually received from selected stakeholders and experts through face-to-face forums, and serve as a quality check on assessments of options, costs and benefits.
Rolling Review of business regulations, using Regulatory Guillotine principles
A functioning e-Registry and Consultations Portal will enable Ministries, Departments and Agencies to systematically carry out Rolling Reviews of regulations and reduce cost of compliance (e.g. sector by sector), without regulations will be rapidly reviewed against agreed criteria, in order to reduce the cost and turnaround time for undertaking important reforms affecting Government’s Transformation Agenda.
Impact Assessment of new Business Regulations
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) will be introduced in order to build a permanent system for quality control of new business regulations and safeguard the gains made from reforms. Regulatory impact analysis provides policy makers with a tool to objectively assess the likely positive and negative effects of a new regulation, and propose better alternatives to achieve the agreed policy objective. This will require training, capacity building piloting the RIA methodology with regulatory reform unit or teams in ministries, departments and agencies, and other regulatory authorities, to prepare good quality RIAs for decision making.
Government will grant targeted relief for SMEs from regulatory requirements at early stages of development, in order to stimulate higher levels of entrepreneurship and job creation in strategic sectors, and gradually phase-in standard rules as the firms begin to grow. This would be used to promote subcontracting linkages between SMEs and large industries in strategic anchor industries.
Permanent Public-Private Dialogue Mechanism
A permanent mechanism for structured dialogue between government and the private sector will be established. The Annual Presidential Business Summit will be flagship Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) forum.
OBJECTIVE, OUTCOME AND IMPACT
The strategic objective of the BRR is to make Ghana the most business-friendly nation in Africa by the end of the year 2020 through sustained improvement in the business regulatory environment. The overall impact will be “reduced risk and cost to the private sector, leading to increased investment and market entry, and higher overall growth in the economy”.
Transparency reduces risks and uncertainties, and reduces opportunities for corruption and promotes long term investment in the productive sectors of the economy, resulting in additional boost to GDP growth; new business entrants into the formal sector; and additional foreign direct investment.
In terms of outcome level, the implementation of the BRR will result in “an improved business regulatory environment in Ghana with simpler, transparent and predictable rules and processes”. This will be achieved will be measured by Ghana rankings in the Doing Business Index; reduction in cost of complying with Business Regulations; reduction in policy disputes; and costs savings to government through reforms that improve the efficiency of regulators in the public service.
The total budget to deliver the BRR is approximately US$17million, over the next three years. It covers support for technical analysis and implementation management support, including legal reform, systems development, technical skills upgrading of key regulators, stakeholder and targeted public engagement activities, capacity building in regulatory good practice, collaborative research and compliance studies, information dissemination and Public-Private Dialogue. The budget also takes into consideration government’s contribution in terms of staffing, coordination and other operational support in kind.
Inter-Ministerial Facilitation Committee: The IMFC is a high-level policy decision making and implementation oversight committee consisting of Ministers responsible for relevant MDAs. Its functions include review of progress made by institutions under their purview; facilitation of expedited recommendations to Economic Management Team and Cabinet where necessary.
BRR Unit: A Business Regulatory Reform (BRR) team, headed by a senior civil servant, has been established within MOTI to coordinate implementation. It is supported by embedded technical advisors and short-term consultants but largely staffed by civil servants to build capacity and retain institutional memory over the long term memory over the long-term.
Technical Working Groups:
TWGs consisting of implementation partners are the key instrument for coordinating the design and implementation of the business regulatory reforms. They are public-private sector technical committees consisting of heads or representative of government institutions (MDAs, MMDAs and regulatory authorities) and business executives and nominees of business associations and professional bodies, representing the service end-users. To ensure smooth rollout of the BRR Programme, a number of actions have been taken: 8 Working Groups have been established to make recommendations for reform business processes in 8 selected Doing Business Indicators. A total of 31 institutions and 42 private sector representatives are involved.