The advent of the Internet dramatically changed the way in which business is done globally. Commercial transactions are conducted electronically rather than in person. The government has implemented the Electronic Transactions Act to regulate electronic transactions in an attempt to protect online consumers.
Including: Oil and Gas; Electricity.
In February 2007 Ghana signed an agreement with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. In January 2008 Ghana demonstrated its commitment to the global fight against drugs and terrorism by passing the Anti-money Laundering Law – the first of its kind. The act is intended to prevent Ghana from being used as a conduit or haven for stashing ill-gotten gains.
In June 2008 the now famous extraordinary general meeting of CAL Bank, a public company listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange, presented a test case for corporate governance in Ghana, in the full glare of the media. The case has set a precedent on the exercise of shareholders' rights in public companies and warns that shareholders' rights must not be taken for granted.
Ghana has passed the long-awaited Whistleblowers Act. It is the culmination of stakeholder consultations and lobbying by civil society groups to enhance probity and accountability in the use of government resources. It outlines the instances and processes through which employees can disclose information on the illegal conduct or corrupt actions of their employers or fellow employees without fear of retribution.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides grants to developing countries to implement projects that reduce poverty through the promotion of sustainable economic growth. A governance agreement was executed between the government of Ghana and the MCC, along with an authority which ensures participation of key stakeholders and proposed beneficiaries of the compact funds.
In Ghana, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have traditionally operated in an environment with minimal standards for measuring their transparency and accountability. However, the growing need for accountability has now led the government to propose the Trust Bill, which sets out a legal framework for the operation of NGOs.
The new National Petroleum Authority has replaced the National Petroleum Tender Board and taken over the regulatory functions of the Energy Commission and the Public Utilities Regulatory. It is expected that this move will ensure better service delivery and ensure parity in prices through increased competition.
The Energy Commission has established the criteria for evaluating and determining the eligibility of any existing petroleum product marketing company for the grant and issue of a petroleum product final licence. While its functions have now been taken over by the National Petroleum Authority, it expected that the authority will adopt these criteria.
Smeltering company Valco ceased operations in 2004 when majority owner Kaiser announced its intention to withdraw from Ghana, but the government has now proposed that operations recommence. If this occurs, the Volta River Authority, which has been locked in protracted negotiations with Valco for the supply of electricity, will have to give serious consideration to its options for meeting Valco's demand.
For the first time in Ghana, a non-governmental organization has instituted court action to enforce a statutory environmental obligation against a mining company and industry regulators. The test case may serve as a wake-up call for the government, industry regulators and mining companies to step up efforts to protect the environment from mining-related degradation.
In 2004 significant developments took place in the energy sector with a view to boosting reform of the industry and overhauling it to meet the challenges of the 21st century. These include the formal unbundling of the main state-owned electricity generation and transmission utility, and deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
A new stability agreement between the Ghanaian government and leading mining player AngloGold Ashanti enables the government to utilize the company's technical and financial strength in order to realize the full potential of the Obuasi mine. AngloGold's proven ability in the development of deep-level projects will further the development of deep-level underground mining at Obuasi.
The Ministry of Mines has initiated steps to maintain and stimulate further growth within the mining sector, improve its competitiveness in the global market and bring Ghana's investment regime into line with international best practice. The proposed amendments strike a fine balance between attracting foreign investment and protecting the environment and the rights of the indigenes.
Including: Mining Law; Electricity Law; Petroleum Law.