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The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) on Wednesday launched the second edition of its business awards in Accra to celebrate the contributions of key Ghanaian businesses and personalities.

The launch, which was supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was on the theme: “Empowering the Private Sector to Move Ghana beyond Aid” and seek to excellence in business leadership and innovation.

The awards are also to inspire and promote entrepreneurial spirit in the country by highlighting the success stories of outstanding awards winners, unearth the depth of existing talents and to promote high professional standards.

Mrs Josephine Okutu, Chairperson of the GNCCI awards organising Committee at the launch, said candidates for the awards were required to prepare their supporting documents based on particular standards.

As part of the criteria of the award, she said, the committee would examine the institution’s public and/or personality engagements on issues relevant to business and national development.

Mrs Okutu said organisations that had the intentions of participating in the awards would also be assessed based on technology and innovativeness since innovation had become part and parcel of business growth.

She said firms would also be assessed based on their Corporate Social Responsibility, adding that the committee would focus on the quantum and the quality of a project because businesses were supposed to be responsible for their communities and assessment would also be based on customer relationship management and the financial performance as well as tax compliance of the company.

Mrs Okutu noted that the awards were going to be in three sections, where the first section will have 23 categories with emphasis on excellence and quality in service and product delivery.

She said the second section would have three categories made up of, young entrepreneur of the year, Chamber business man of the year and chamber business woman of the year while the third section was going to be a special award to deserving chamber member who exhibited strong personalities.

Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of GNCCI said, government was going to create the right environment for business, but is was up to the private sector to take advantage to boost the economy and move Ghana beyond aid.

Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry said cocoa and gold were not big enough to drive the nation’s economy that was why the current government was aggressively promoting entrepreneurship.

He pledged the Ministry’s support for the awards and the theme saying that, the Ministry would do its best to drive growth in the sector adding, “We believe partnership could enhance the nation’s economy”.

Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso, the President of GNCCI called on businesses to participate in the awards to highlight best business practices that were fundamental to private sector growth and development.

The maiden edition of the awards was last year where 31 awards were given to distinguished businesses and personalities.

Entries for the Chamber’s awards, which opened on Wednesday, June 20 to accept nominations were expected to close by July 20 to pave way for other processes to continue.