First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo has urged businesses to play active roles in the efforts of rebranding Ghana by adopting it as a corporate social responsibility that would help propel the growth of their businesses.
“After all, when the economy grows and poverty levels drop; when governments are better able to provide the social interventions needed for Ghana, it only serves to strengthen your own businesses and I dare say the bottom line”, she said.
She indicated that rebranding Ghana was a national responsibility that touched every Ghanaian, and so the need to open up the conversation by taking it to the communities, offices and homes.
“Everyone has a role to play and everyone is an ambassador in this crusade. So let us take the conversation out there and encourage debates that lead to practical actions” she emphasized.
Speaking at the maiden Executive Women Network (EWN) Annual conference in Accra, Mrs Akufo-Addo noted that one of the key challenges, she had observed was that many people leave rebranding Ghana in the hands of an entity, mostly a government parastatal, to lead the agenda “whilst the rest of us focus on our individual businesses. This is one area we have mostly erred”.
“As business leaders, you are in charge of growing the businesses and brands that have been entrusted onto you. Many of these are multinational brands that you have built and managed exceptionally well over the years.
“These brands have become strong selling points for their originating countries – attracting further investment and to a large extent fueling the tourism sector in these countries.“Yet as the experts in building global brands, we leave the work of branding solely in the hands of government parastatals. Imagine for a moment if we apply the same rigour, commitment and expertise we all possess into branding our dear country”, she noted.
The Executive Women Network Annual Conference was held on the theme: “Rebranding Ghana to Drive Business Growth: The perspective of Women leaders”.
The conference sought to provide the platform for women leaders and young people to contribute to a national agenda and to rebrand and re-position Ghana for business, investment and tourism. Mrs Akufo-Addo commended the organisers for providing the platform for both women leaders, and men to share and provide their quota in the efforts at changing Ghana and the world for the better.
She was impressed that the EWN was deliberating on rebranding Ghana to drive business growth, saying that surely aligned perfectly with the government’s agenda on economic growth and development of Ghana.
“I know many attempts have been made and are still being made to brand Ghana and position Ghana to take a leadership role in Africa and the world. “I am aware of what government institutions such as the Ghana Investment Promotion Council, are doing to promote Ghana to the outside world, as an investment destination.
“But you see, we will make no meaningful progress in this regard if we, as leaders, do not play an active role in how our country is positioned in the minds of the rest of the world”. She said all over the world, countries competed to attract business, investment and tourism, by adopting the same brand building rigour used by global businesses to gain competitive advantage.
“The fact is, we are in competition with the rest of the world for limited investment, so we have no choice than to get on with the business of rebranding Ghana as the preferred investment destination, not only in Africa but globally”. She expressed her happiness that the conference was not solely about what government could do, but what, collectively, women leaders and men could do to rebrand Ghana to drive business growth.
She therefore, advised that the platform should not only become a mere talk shop, but it should help come out with actions that would actively help drive the process of rebranding Ghana for business growth.
She urged sector Ministries and government parastatals that play a leading role, in promoting Ghana as an investment destination, to embrace the outcomes from the conference and create an avenue for Ghanaians to actively participate in shaping the narrative and rebranding Ghana to drive business growth, investment and tourism.