President Nana Akufo-Addo has launched “For Better Business Together (4BBT)” programme to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and COVID-19 economic recovery in Ghana.
The initiative is a collaboration between the Ministry of Business Development of Ghana, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Business for Peace Foundation of Norway.
The 4BBT programme, which was launched on the theme “Post COVID-19 – Rebuilding Global Businesses Together” is seeking to inspire business worthy behaviours, create entrepreneurship centres across Ghana to connect youth with innovative ideas to entrepreneurs, and catalyze investments towards the achievement of the SDGs.
Delivering his keynote address at the launch, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, called on financial institutions to examine their model that considers youth entrepreneurs and start-ups as high risk and urged them to provide support for young entrepreneurs to improve economic growth. He stated that “the economic integration of Africa will lay a strong foundation for an African beyond aid”, and supporting young entrepreneurs is central to this effort.
H.E Akufo-Addo applauded the organizers of the launch, which he described as very timely for Ghana’s economy, as he said the 4BBT initiative will complement government’s interventions including its Coronavirus Alleviation Programme (CAP), which is offering support to alleviate impacts of COVID-19 in various areas including households and businesses particularly Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
“I am particularly happy that Ghana was chosen for this global initiative… and I thank the organizers including the ICC, UNDP, Business for Peace Foundation of Norway and the Ministry of Business Development for this event which will create a solid platform for discussions on the future of businesses”, stated President Akufo-Addo, who is alsoa Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Eminent Group of Advocates for the SDGs.
In his remarks, the Minister of Business Development of Ghana, Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, emphasized the country’s commitment to support businesses to recover from the pandemic. He said, “we are determined to build entrepreneurs who will move Ghana beyond aid.”
“It is truly inspiring that you, together, are driving a programme to help advance investment flows towards the SDGs. I firmly believe that the private sector knows best what the private sector needs to invest sustainably”, observed the Prime Minister of Norway and Co-Chair of the SDGs during her virtual remarks.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator for Ghana, Charles Abani called for continuous commitment towards the attainment of the SDGs. He noted that the UN has reprogrammed about US$90 million of existing funds and is committed to raise an additional US$40 million over the next 12-18 months in support of government’s efforts to attain economic stability post COVID-19. He also emphasized the importance of partnerships to build back better.
“Partnerships is key to non-business as usual and we must move from funds and giving to investment mindset. The 4BBT kinds of initiatives is critical to galvanizing investments for SDGs attainment”, said Mr. Abani.
Highlighting the SDGs Investor Maps, a key component of the 4BBT initiative, Silke Hollander, the Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Ghana, noted that the maps are seeking to connect investment opportunities to investors across Ghana. She underscored UNDP’s commitment to complement the UN system’s drive to support the country’s economic recovery efforts.
“The ‘For Better Business Together’ initiative is a testament to our committed partnership that aims at enabling businesses to build back better from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as build forward better to allow for transformational change”, she stressed.
John W.A Denton, the Executive Secretary of the ICC noted that the “For Better Business Together programme is a concrete example of the potential of public-private collaboration”.
“Together with our partners of the ‘For Better Business Together’, we will help make the future of business sustainable, inclusive, and equitable, addedMr Marius Døcker, the Managing Director of Business for Peace Foundation.
The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Gunnar Andreas Holm, also reiterated the importance of the partnership. He said, “the launch of the 4BBT programme is an exciting beginning of the next phase of our actions to help advance investments to reach the Sustainable Development Goals”.
The launch also witnessed a panel discussion on the event theme and this was led by Frederick Mugisha, Economic Advisor, UNDP Ghana and the Gambia; Kweku Eshun, Board Member of ICC; John Kumah, Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovative Programme (NEIP); Kokui Selormey, Entrepreneur; and Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).