A suitable environment for businesses to succeed remains an important precursor to economic growth and ultimately the improvement of living standards.
From a macroeconomic perspective, real GDP growth slowed substantially from about 14.0% in 2011 to 3.9% in 2015 which was indicative of an anaemic macroeconomic environment. The rate of inflation generally trended upwards partly due to supply-side pressures from a severe energy crisis. Tight monetary policy did not effectively contain inflationary pressures and wide interest spread slowed growth of credit to the private sector.
Persistent twin deficits of fiscal and current account deficits (and rising public debt) further indicated systemic weakness of the Ghanaian economy in relation to the world economy notably susceptibility to commodity price slumps. This compelled the government to go for an IMF support programme-Extended Credit Facility in 2015. A new tax reform Act 896 which increased tax rates overall also took effect from January 2016.
Against this background, IMANI with the support of BUSAC conducted a comprehensive analysis of five (5) major business challenges since 2011 coupled with key policies/bills/laws intended to ameliorate the situation. Hence IMANI’s report aimed to:
1) Identify and examine major business challenges since 2011.
2) Analyse and discuss key policies/bills/laws with the view to appreciate gaps/inconsistencies related to each identified challenge.
3) Make robust recommendations to deal with the challenges and improve the business environment.