Ensure Sustainability In Your Businesses – DBG DCEO

Accra, 31 August 2023 – The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank Ghana (DBG), Mr. Michael Mensah-Baah, has charged local businesses to consider the importance of ensuring sustainable growth in their businesses. The Deputy CEO made the statement whiles delivering a speech during a one-day seminar in Accra organised by Fidelity Bank Ghana in partnership with the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters, Eco. Business Fund, and DBG under the theme “Empowering Businesses to drive sustainable growth through compliance to regulatory and environmental principles – The Agric and Export perspective.”

The seminar which attracted over two hundred participants was aimed at echoing the essence of regulatory compliance, promote sustainability and ESG principles among local businesses in the agricultural and export sector. The seminar also featured various presentations, an interactive panel discussion, and lectures from sector experts who shared valuable insights on topics ranging from ‘understanding the regulatory landscape’, to ‘integrating sustainability into business operations’ and ‘tax compliance for agriculture and export businesses’ among others.

The agricultural export industry has been a significant contributor to the country’s total Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) with the exportation of key agricultural products such as cashew nuts, cocoa seeds and beans, peanuts, groundnuts, and other kinds of farm produce. According to the Ghana Export Promotion Authority’s annual report on Ghana’s Non-Traditional Exports (NTE) for the year 2022, the agricultural sub-sector contributed 14.4 percent of the total NTE earnings for the year reviewed.

Delivering his remarks, Mr. Mensah-Baah, emphasised on DBG’s mission of accelerating an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation agenda by fostering the growth of a competitive private sector and also ensuring that the Bank’s interventions lead to sustainable transformation. He added that, the Bank is currently pursuing a sustainability standard certification index which is a green rating for deploying sustainable governance principles across the organisations the Bank works with.

According to the Deputy CEO, “the Bank does not only support the private sector by providing long-term patient capital, but we also complement that effort with the provision of technical capabilities training and sharing knowledge about the environment in which the businesses operate in, including the need to have a strong governance framework.”

In attendance were representatives from the Federation of Associations of Ghanaian Exporters (FAGE), members of the National Farmers and Fishermen Winners Association, and producers, including commercial farmers involved in the agricultural and export sector.

Following this training event, two other seminars have been held in Sunyani and Takoradi in the Bono and Western Regions respectively for the same target group. Structured just as the earlier one, the two seminars offered capacity building to the attendees.

Development Bank Ghana (DBG) is a Development Finance Institution established by the Government of Ghana, in accordance with the Development Finance Act, 2020. DBG acts as an enabler for businesses in Ghana and as a long-term capital provider in the market. DBG’s mission is to foster strong partnerships to finance economic growth, create jobs and build capacity for SMEs, and to provide long-term financing and de-risking services underpinned by technology and evidence-based research/insights. DBG aims to promote Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) excellence within the businesses the bank supports. The bank has received funds from the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Kreditanstalt Für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and the African Development Bank.

We Are Committed To Building Bankable And Competitve Businesses

Mr. Kwamina Duker, the Chief Executive Officer of Development Bank Ghana, has reiterated his outfit’s commitment to supporting and building bankable and competitive local businesses that can pit their strength against consumer alternatives coming mostly from foreign markets. He was speaking at the 30th Annual Meeting of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Accra, as a panelist during a plenary discussion with other distinguished industry captains, development experts and policy makers on the topic “Leveraging the Power of Intra-African Trade for Commodity Based Industrialisation”.

The panel discussions, which were a part of a series of sessions at the gathering sought to highlight the peculiar challenges that beset African economies when it comes to adding value to the extracted raw materials before being exported to foreign markets. The objective of the discussions was to find ways to break the cycle of exporting unfinished goods and importing finished products much to the detriment of the respective African economies and also on how to take control of Africa’s commodities and expand the value chain systems so as to be able to create the necessary socio-economic development.

In addressing how small to medium size enterprises are being integrated into the industrialisation process, Mr. Duker indicated that for a very long time the focus has been on the extractive sector and that has caused little investment into human capital, thus denying us the opportunity of moving up the value chain. According to DBG’s Chief Executive Officer, “moving up the value chain is critical but also complex because once you move up from the extraction or the out-grower phase, you come into the market forces phase which you must be able to respect in order to thrive”.

He added that, “for us as a development bank, we are focused on changing mindsets of the local businesses and making them bankable businesses that can be competitive on the global market.” He further explained that, it is essential for business that have been able to move up the value chain to have a mindset to compete especially due to alternatives consumers are presented with on the market and to achieve that, such businesses must be bankable so as to overcome the market forces.

In addition, Mr. Duker emphasised the importance of setting a “criteria for success” for local businesses where, businesses after a period of receiving support, must be able to take-off and run by themselves so as to achieve sustainable prosperity. According to him, this will be a measure of success of the investment placed into such businesses.

Other panelists for session on “Leveraging the Power of Intra-African Trade for Commodity Based Industrialisation” were Professor Théophile T. Azomahou, Executive Director, Africa Economic Research Consortium, Dr. Carlos Lopez, a Professor  at the University of Cape Town, Ms. Florie Liser, President & CEO, Corporate Council on Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator & Regional Director for Africa, Mr. Antonio Pedro, Acting Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and Mrs. Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President, Intra-Africa Trade, Afreximbank.

DBG Committed To Investing In Woman-Led Businesses

Accra, 31 July 2023 – The Development Bank Ghana (DBG) in partnership with The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) has embarked on a capacity building training targeted at women-owned and women-led business across the country. The campaign aims to reach out to a set target of five thousand (5,000) women equipping them with technical assistance and access to financial support to enhance the credit worthiness of their businesses, facilitate job creation and ensure long-term continuous growth and sustainability.

The campaign, dubbed ‘WomanRising 5000’ is a women’s economic impact project aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources to help them succeed in their respective businesses, expand their operations, increase their staff strength, and build systems and structures to ensure longevity of their businesses.

In line with achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 5, DBG is poised to ensure the full and effective participation of women as well as equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making and gender balance across all levels of management. It is against this background that DBG aligned with TANOE to invest in women entrepreneurs and help them increase their capacities with regards to their businesses.

Commenting on this, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of DBG, Michael Mensah-Baah said that “as a bank, we are interested and committed to the improvement of women-led and women-owned businesses. We acknowledge that we can achieve this by tackling the foundations, which is providing first the knowledge and education needed to bring about the desired transformation, and after that, provide the means by which these entrepreneurs can access the finances to scale-up their businesses.”

In Ghana, women-led businesses have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the economy, accounting for forty-four percent (44%) of all micro, small and medium enterprises in the country. The contribution of women-businesses in Ghana is further emphasised in the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs which in 2020 ranked Ghana (36.5 percent) among the world’s three leading economies with most women-owned businesses with Uganda (39.6 percent) and Botswana (38.5 percent).

Through this campaign, women entrepreneurs were offered a range of resources including access to finance, training programs, mentorship opportunities and networking events. By providing these resources, DBG and TANOE aimed to ensure that women entrepreneurs were equipped to overcome the unique challenges they face in the business world.

The first phase of the capacity building programme was concluded in the month of July with over five hundred women entrepreneurs participating in various training sessions that took place across five regions, namely, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central, Western and Volta.

TANOE has over the years been and remains focused on entrepreneurship as a sustainable solution to unemployment through training and empowering students and the youth to develop their talents, entrepreneurial abilities and skills, supporting women and start-up entrepreneurs with resources and relevant information to sustain and grow their businesses.

Development Bank Ghana is a wholesale financial institution established by the Government of Ghana. DBG acts as a provider of long-term capital to the market with a mission to foster strong partnerships to finance economic growth, create jobs, and build capacity for SMEs. The organisation is committed, aligned and strengthened to achieve UN Sustainable Goals (SDGs) ambitions and targets while implementing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy aimed at creating shared value and impact with purpose.