Following the successful roll-out and acceptance of the Ghana Card as the single source of identity for Ghanaians and persons living in Ghana, Government has begun discussions with the Global Legal Entity Identification Foundation (GLEIF) to provide a single source of identity verification for businesses operating in Ghana, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has disclosed.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 53rd General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association in Accra, on Monday, April 24, 2023, Dr Bawumia said the logical next step in Government’s integration and economic development agenda is to enable Ghanaian businesses to partake in a globally accepted verification process to give them credibility and global reach.
“We have made a great success of the Ghana Card in providing unique identity to individuals,” he noted.
“We are now thinking beyond this because the case for unique identification for individuals is not just the case; it is even more important for unique identification for businesses because just as we need the confidence to know who we are dealing with, businesses also need that confidence and trust to know who they are dealing with.
“And so we have started discussions with the Global Legal Entity Identity Foundation (GLEIF), to provide unique global legal identity to all businesses in Ghana. The legal entity Identifier is a unique reference code used across markets and jurisdictions to uniquely identify a legally distinct entity that engages in financial transactions.
“This is an initiative driven by the G20 and the Financial Stability Board. But providing legal identity to our businesses, especially our SMEs, will make it very easy for our companies to participate fully in global economic and financial transactions.”
Indicating that “data is the new oil”, and any decision must be based on a proper analysis of data Dr Bawumia said “When I looked at the database, I saw that no country in Africa right now is part of the Legal Entity identification scheme. And so if we sit down, we will again be late. And it is for that reason that Ghana has started discussions for us to provide unique legal identity to all our businesses, so that when you interact internationally, everybody knows who you are.
“I believe that the AfCFTA should come on board this and let us get legal identity for all businesses across the African continent. That will 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.
“The lack of legal identity affects the poorer countries more than the much richer countries. And so we should take advantage of this opportunity to get it and get it for free basically for our businesses.”
The General Assembly of the World Trade Center Association brings together national World Trade Centers across the globe to deliberate on ways to improve the business climate and activities of business entities, and provides members and their business networks with the opportunity to engage with each other, connect with and learn from local businesses in the hosting city, and foster partnerships word wide.
The Executive Chairman of World Trade Centre – Accra, Togbe Afede XiV, urged participants to take advantage of their presence in the “gateway to Africa” to explore the numerous opportunities on the continent, noting that with its vast arable lands, Africa could address the global challenge of food insecurity arising from the conflict in Ukraine.
“Africa has great potential, and I will urge you to take advantage of your presence on the continent to engage, explore and enjoy Africa,” he added.
Participants at the 4 day Assembly include H.E. Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat; Ministers of Trade from across the world; and John Drew, Board Chairman of the World Trade Centers Association.