WELCOME ADDRESS BY HOLLISTAR DUAH-YENTUMI (MS.)-2020 POLICY AND GOVERNANCE FORUM
Mr. President, The Chief of Staff, Hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Minister of State responsible for SIGA, Hon. Ministers, Members of Parliament, Director-General of SIGA, The Chair and Board Members of SIGA, Development Partners, Board members of SOEs, Niimei/Naamei, Representatives of the Media, Invited Guests, Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen;
On behalf of the Board and Management of SIGA, I wish to extend a warm welcome to Mr. President and all participants in the 202O Policy and Governance Forum. Another opportunity has come our way to meet again after that impressive ceremony last year, at which SIGA was given the much-needed wings to fly by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
When I was growing up on the University of Ghana, Legon, campus which abounds with much flora, I observed with great admiration, how a hatchling or nestling would receive parental care inside the nest until it can stand on its own to fly as a bird. This imprint came to memory at each encounter that helped to propel and empower SIGA take on its rightful mandate during the year.
We say with much gratitude that Mr. President provided the much-needed political leadership which enabled SIGA to kickstart several initiatives directed at making State-Owned Entities and Joint Venture Companies accountable and profitable. We have also received enormous support from the Chief of Staff, the Honourable Minister of Finance, the Honourable Minister responsible for SIGA, as well as the Board of Management, even within the difficult periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep SIGA in business.
Ladies and Gentlemen, no gainsaying the fact that there have been many other Policy Fora in the past. However, today’s event has a special significance in that, it is being organised as the first of its kind after SIGA’s inauguration some 12 months ago.
Expectedly, one year after our mandate, the need for a sound and sober reflection to guide how we conduct business in the coming year makes it even more important for us to meet. In this regard, there could be no better event theme for our deliberation than “SIGA, One Year on: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects.”
To recap the main objectives derived from similar events in the past, the Policy and Governance Forum affords us the opportunity to share and discuss the strategies being implemented by Government to strengthen the performance of SOEs and JVCs. Government, and indeed, the Ministry of Finance is quite pleased in keeping to the dictates of this agenda to allows us find a common approach that guides our collective efforts at making the operations of SOEs and JVCs more effective.
Additionally, the Forum is yet another yardstick to articulate the main purpose of change as set up in the SIGA framework. First, what are we trying to achieve as SOEs and JVCs? Second, what difference are we trying to make in the new scheme of things? Third, how will it improve upon the economic viability of our institutions by responding to good corporate practices? And finally, how will it add value to the vision of Mr. President. As agents of change for SOEs and JVCs, we are reminded to keep faith in the saying that nothing changes if nothing changes.
To better appreciate the task before us in this session, we will hear from Mr. President as he delivers the Keynote Address. We are also going to listen to the Minister of Finance whose statement, I hope, will touch on the agenda setting for the forum, baseline principles and government commitments, the Minister of State responsible for SIGA on key transformational processes, solidarity messages from Development Partners, while the Director General of SIGA will respond to the basic tenets of the theme with highlights on accomplishments and bottlenecks.
Since effective Governance can spell out the difference between success and failure, tomorrow’s session will help us to focus our attention on how to optimize performance in our respective set ups, consider risks and debt management and remain in compliance, without ignoring the central role of governance.
Ladies and Gentlemen, even though an African proverb says that “Nkyene nkamfo ne ho” to wit, “Salt does not ascribe taste to it good itself” but on Achievements one year on, SIGA is well positioned to go through the litmus test of its own Balance Scorecard as the follow up report of the Director-General will show.
As a nascent institution, SIGA is justifiably susceptible to challenges. However, these challenges are not overly overwhelming as Management continues to draw on the good mix of expertise of its Board of Management for solutions.
On prospects, championing new areas of core values to improve operational efficiency stands tall in the strategic positioning of the institution. Though, SIGA is not up to its full complement of staff as recruitment process is still ongoing, the current core of professional staff speaks to a brighter future.
We hope that this event will not fall short of your expectations regarding SIGA’s dependability, cooperativeness, and communication. Every moment is a new beginning, and the Board and Management are poised to cease new opportunities that come our way, to ensure that the vision of Mr. President, the leader who finds novelties and runs with them, is not lost through the creation of SIGA.
It is our strong belief that with your cooperation, subsequent years will acclaim the success stories of this great institution, and attest to the fact that “SIGA came, SIGA saw and SIGA conquered.”
Mr. President, Ladies, and gentlemen, once again I welcome you most sincerely to the 2020 Policy Forum.
Thank you very much indeed.