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Gov’t to provide unique global legal identity to all businesses – Veep

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Dr Mahamudu Bawumia
Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

The Government has started discussions with the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF) to enable it to provide unique global identity to all businesses in Ghana.

The legal identity identifier is a unique reference code used across markets and jurisdictions, to uniquely identify a legally distinct entity that engages in financial transactions.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia announced this at the opening of the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centres Association in Accra on Monday.

The five-day conference is on the theme: “Towards African Economic Integration and Enhanced Global Presence.”

He said the initiative was driven by the G-20 and the Financial Stability Board to provide legal identity to businesses, especially small and medium scale businesses, to make it easier for companies to participate fully in global financial transactions.

It brought togther more than 350 delegates worldwide including captains of industries, business executives, heads of government institutions and civil society organisations to deliberate and explore ways of mobilising investment opportunities for the continent.

No country in Africa was part of the Legal Entity Identification Scheme and for that reason Ghana had begun discussions with the Foundation to provide unique legal identity to businesses in the country for smooth operation, Vice President Bawumia said.

“So that when you interact internationally, everybody knows who you are. And I believe that the AfCFTA should come on board,” he stated.

“Let us get legal identity for all businesses across the African Continent to make it much easier for transactions within Africa, amongst businesses and beyond because there is a single global legal identity for all businesses and that’s what we should be working towards.”

“So my brother Wamkele Mene, CEO of AfCFTA, we will talk some more about this but I think that this is where we should get forward because these are some of the micro foundations.”

Mr Wamkele Mene, the Secretary-General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, said any continent that ignored Africa’s trade potential did so at its own peril because the continent “is the future of the world’s economy.”

He said, through AfCFTA, the continent had taken concrete steps towards economic integration and thus, cited the establishment of the Pan African Payments and Settlement System, which ensured that African businesses could engage in cross-border transactions using a digital payment system.

He was optimistic that Africa’s combined trade value would hit $16 trillion by 2050 in view of the various steps taken to integrate economically.

Mr John E. Drew, the Chairman of the World Trade Centres Association, noted that Africa had economic opportunities the world should add value to for growth and prosperity for all.

He entreated the participants to build strong networks and establish business partnerships towards achieving the objectives of the conference.

The Executive Chairman, World Trade Centre, Accra, Togbe Afede XIV, in his welcome address, said Africa’s three billion population was a great asset coupled with its 20 per cent of the world’s land mass, which provided a fertile ground to feed the world.

He noted that Africa’s mineral wealth and arable land was a launching pad for the world’s food security and economic transformation.

He expressed confidence that with the integration process of the continent progressing steadily it would soon increase its current two and three percent global trade and gross domestic product to a reasonable level.

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