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11.12.2002 General News

There is need for well developed legal systems - AG

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A well-developed legal system is a prerequisite for attracting enough investment to speed up the process of economic growth in the country, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Attorney-General (AG) and Minister of Justice said on Tuesday.

Addressing a day's conference on corporate corruption and governance, the Minister said democratic governance and rule of law were important factors that would bolster investor confidence in the economy and create the appropriate platform for wealth and employment creation.

"The lack of such democratic credentials will not be enticing to investors, they would not attract and move them in to create the conditions for economic growth and job creation," he said.

The African Capital Markets Forum (ACMF) organised the conference as part of its corporate governance initiative to strengthen capital market institutions and to promote private enterprise in Africa.

Participants drawn from academia, civil society organizations and business entities were attending the conference on the theme: "Combating Corporate Corruption with Effective Corporate Governance: The Role of Business."

Nana Akufo-Addo said government would continue to deepen democratic governance that would make the country the core of rule of law to enable her partake in the competitive global economy.

It is in this connection that the government was undertaking the necessary legal and institutional reforms to ensure that the appropriate regulatory environment was created to enforce the high standards that were required to make the business sector lead the way.

"We are working to remove obsolete laws on the statutes books, modernizing laws on intellectual property as well as removing other bottlenecks to reduce the level of corruption," he said, adding that the high incidence of confidence needed was only attainable in line with accountability.

Institutions such as the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice, the Registrar General's Department and other bodies would be adequately supported to play their roles effectively.

According to the Minister, good corporate governance was a prerequisite for economic growth, saying the country would be unable to create wealth in the face of huge fraud. "The rule of law is the only supreme way to measure the effectiveness of the policies we pursue," and added that more Fast Track Courts and commercial courts would be established to ensure speedy delivery of justice.

Francis Tweneboa, Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) said the sure ways to fight corporate corruption is not to avoid bureaucratic tendencies in organizations but also adopt rating of companies and business entities to indicate their level of corruption.

Dr Sam Mensah, Executive Secretary of African Capital Market Forum (ACMF) said corporate governance should be able to adapt to new environment. Mumba Kapumpa, Chairman, ACMF said improvement in corporate governance practices was one of the essential elements in strengthening the foundation for long-term economic performance of countries and corporations.

He said good corporate governance would help businesses tap capital from international capital markets to improve their market's profile and make Africa visible in the global market.

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