The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has awarded a total of 21 foreign-owned firms and two expatriate business personalities operating in the country for their immense contributions towards the economic development of Ghana.
The awards were presented to the businesses by the President, ministers, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, on Monday in Accra during the maiden edition of the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA) 2017 held at the Movempick Ambassador Hotel.
GEBA is an award scheme instituted by the Government of Ghana under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to acknowledge the immense contributions of expatriate businesses towards the economic development of Ghana.
The award scheme is believed to be the first of its kind on the African continent.
It is also aimed at deepening ties between the government of Ghana and foreign investors.
The top three winners went to Unilever Ghana Limited, Best Expatriate Business Firm of the Year; Abiola Bawuah, Managing Director of UBA Ghana Limited, Top Woman Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Expatriate of the Year; Saied Fakhry, Chairman of Interplast Group Limited, Top Man CEO Expatriate of the Year.
Wienco Ghana Limited emerged as Agriculture and Agri-business Firm of the year; KLM, Aviation Firm of the Year; Coral Paint, Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals Firm of the year; B5 Plus Ghana Limited, Metals and Steel Firm of the year; Geodrill, Mining Firm of the year; Nexans KabelMetal, Electricals and Electronics Firm of the year; Unilever, Overall Best Expatriate Firm as well as best personal care and cosmetics firm of the year; De Simone, Building and Construction Firm of the year.
The rest are Standard Chartered Bank, which won the expatriate banking and finance award; Zenith Bank, co-winner of the banking and finance award; Nestle Ghana, Food and Beverages Firm of the Year; Interplast, Rubber and Plastics Firm of the year; Maersk, Transport, Road and Shipping Firm of the year; Tigo Ghana, Information, Communication and Technology Firm of the year; PolyGroup, Printing and Stationary and Packaging Firm of the year, Melcom Group, Retail Firm of the year, Movempick Hotel, Tourism and Hospitality Firm of the year; Japan Motors, Automotive firm; Sonan Asogli Plant, Energy and Power Firm of the year; Printex, Garment, textiles and leather firm of the year, Blue Skies, Exports Firm of the year and Aviance Ghana, Best Service Firm of the year.
In a keynote address at the ceremony, President Akufo-Addo congratulated the awardees for their immense contributions to Ghana’s economic development over the last 60 years.
According to the President, the government and people of Ghana were appreciative of the immense contributions of the expatriates.
He explained that over the last 60 years, the Ghana’s economy has faced major challenges which could have compelled foreign businesses in Ghana to migrate to neighbouring countries to do business but they stayed on.
He said the government would work hard to make Ghana the most business friendly destination in Africa.
President Akufo-Addo gave assurance that government would provide a level-playing field for both expatriate and local businesses, saying government was in the process of setting up a special commission to oversee fair trade practices in Ghana.
Chairman of B5 Plus Ghana Limited, one of the awardees, Mukesk Thakwani, told BUSINESS GUIDE in an interview on the sidelines of the ceremony that the awards would go a long way to boost the morale of expatriates doing business in Ghana and encourage them to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.