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The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) Act, 2020, (Act 1043) (the “Act”) has repealed the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) Act, 1981, (Act 434) and the Ghanaian Enterprises Development Act, 1975 (NRCD 330).[1] As a foundation to this development, NBSSI, was established as the apex body for the development of small-scale industries in Ghana.[2] It functioned as a non-profit public sector organisation under the Ministry of Trade and Industry[3] with a mandate delimited to the Small-Scale Industry (SSI). Although this classification was relevant at the time of its establishment, globally, the emphasis has changed from Small Scale Industries to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs). In keeping with the times, the Act, creates the Ghana Enterprises Agency (the “Agency”) to replace the NBSSI. The Agency represents the entire continuum of enterprises that fall within the MSME class. The Act provides an appropriate institutional and legal framework for the coordination and promotion of programs and projects for the development of the MSME sector in Ghana. Some changes and notable inroads made by the Act are highlighted below. This will be done by looking at the nature of the Agency, the functions of the Agency, funding of the Agency, the establishment of the MSME Fund...

The Covid-19 pandemic quickly instilled feelings of bewilderment and all-consuming fear for what would lay ahead. Aside from the health of our people, the health of the economy within which we operate became of great concern. As a law firm leader, my concern extended to issues of cash management, liquidity and to my strategy in respect of avoiding the possibility of a business downturn. Read more  ...

The Transfer Pricing Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2412) has been passed, bringing into force exciting measures to manage transfer pricing relations between parties in a controlled relationship. L.I. 2412, in keeping with the times, introduces rules on documentation, measures affecting technology transfer agreements, safe harbour rules, as well as specific considerations in relation to cost contribution arrangements, financing arrangements, and business restructuring arrangements. In this blogpost we highlight the novel rules in the transfer pricing regime of Ghana that the taxpayer needs to look out for.   New Documentation Requirements  The most prominent change introduced by L.I. 2412 relates to documentation. A taxpayer is required to keep and file various documentation which inform the Regulator in the assessment of transactions. It also embraces a paperless approach towards the filing process. Contemporaneous Operational Documentation Taxpayers are to maintain contemporaneous documentation, including a Master File and a Local File which are to be filed electronically.  The Master File should contain relevant operational information on the Company at the group level while the Local File focuses on the entity in Ghana and its activities.[1] An exception to this record-keeping obligation is where the monetary value of the specific arrangement does not exceed the Ghana Cedi equivalent of...

The importance of food production and supply cannot be underestimated in any economy. For many years in Ghana, agriculture has been known as a vital part of the economy. As at 2019, the sector employed 33.5% of the labor force many of whom were women, actively participating in the value chain. Read More...

The African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”) promises a host of benefits for Africa at large, as signatory countries and the private sector proceed in rallying efforts. Heads of State of the African Union (“AU”) have endorsed a seven-pillar programme for Action to Boost Intra-African Trade (“BIAT”) including trade policy; trade facilitation; productive capacity; trade-related infrastructure; trade finance; trade information and factor market integration. The implementation of activities under the BIAT is expected in each member country for coordinating the goals of AfCFTA. As the host country of AfCFTA, Ghana is positioned to lead the way in implementing the programmes and activities required for a successful trade. In doing so, the country stands to gain a reported $82-million in trade creation, with trade diversion estimated at $66 million. This article examines Ghana’s attempts to harness AfCFTA’s benefits through trade-related infrastructure and trade finance. Adequate trade-related infrastructure is required for reducing distribution margins, lowering prices, and raising consumer welfare. It is also necessary in lowering transaction costs, adding value, and increasing profitability for exporters, thereby encouraging more exports.[1] Four of such major infrastructure areas slated to support Ghana’s free trade agenda include road construction, railway development, air and land port expansion.   Transportation Infrastructure The Tema Port...

In recent times, a number of efforts to clean up Ghana’s banking industry have impacted the approach to corporate governance within organizations, and have emphasized the importance of a well-structured and effective governance regime for businesses. In this installment of our blog series, we discuss the improved legislative and policy framework for corporate governance in Ghana.   The Companies Act 2019 The Companies Act 2019 (Act 992) has enhanced the ease of doing business in Ghana and promoted a transparent and competitive business environment. In furtherance of the Act, the Registrar-General’s Department has introduced a new electronic system for business registration and filing amendments. The new electronic system, which includes revised online forms, generally allows a company to be registered without stating its objects, except for businesses operating within specific industries. Companies are additionally required to provide information on Politically Exposed Persons who could be beneficial owners or members of the company. A major highlight of the reform is the introduction of the Central Beneficial Ownership Register for all companies in Ghana, especially for those in high-risk sectors such as the extractive sector. Disclosure of such information reduces the risk of corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing.  The law mandates the rotation of...

Work From Home has become the trend of the present work environment, faster than expected. This new work arrangement allows employees, traditionally expected to work out of the employer’s office, to perform their job duties from home or other remote location. A Work From Home Policy is a formal document which regulates the terms of remote work. It provides guidelines defining the responsibilities and expectations of both employer and employee. It is sound practice for employers to develop a Work From Home Policy that can help in navigating the nuances of remote work and mitigating risks inherent in offsite access to the work environment. The following are the ten key elements of an effective Work From Home Policy: 1. Scope The scope of the Policy defines the intent and purpose of remote working, as well as the conditions for remote working. 2. Eligibility Some work functions can not be performed remotely. For these and all other cases, the Policy must clearly address the eligibility requirements for work from home, including any circumstances under which employees may be permitted to operate remotely. 3. Attendance, Availability and Dress Code Attendance, conduct and availability expectations of employees must be outlined, including legally compliant working hours and break periods. In an attempt to...

Ghana’s economy is forecasted to shrink by about 5% of GDP in 2020 — this being a baseline scenario impact from the challenges of the pandemic. Businesses are facing a testing time, the like of which many would never have seen before. Owner managed businesses are particularly hard hit in these times as they often do not have cash reserves to carry them through months of potential disruption and forced closure. We are now subject to a threat nobody could have foreseen and thus the Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency Act, 2020 (Act 1015) is the need of the hour. On 30th April 2020 the President assented to the Corporate Insolvency Bill, 2019 to bring into force a new legal framework for the regulation of insolvency practitioners as well as provide the avenue to help resuscitate temporarily distressed but viable businesses, entities and establishments from liquidation and its ramifications. The new law provides for the timely, efficient and impartial proceedings for insolvent companies and offers restructuring and insolvency solutions including administration, receivership and liquidation. However, it does not cover companies in the financial services industry such as banks and insurance companies which have separate laws covering their restructuring and insolvency proceedings.   Key highlights of...