American and Danish companies find it difficult to do business in Ghana because of the demand for illegal payments, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Robert P. Jackson, has stated.

According to him, particularly for American businesses, the fear of being prosecuted back home when allegations of corruption were found to be true was enough deterrent.

Quoting the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Tove Degnbol, he said: “These companies would rather lose an order than become involved in the endless game of paying and being required to pay even more.”

“I can tell that American companies feel the same way. And the problem confronting foreign investments also stymie foreign assistance,” Mr Jackson said at the opening of the Ghana Good Corporate Governance Initiative round table in Accra yesterday.

He, however, stated that there were more American businesses waiting in the wings to invest in Ghana to create opportunities for trade and bring the much needed jobs.

In a speech that rallied diplomats, business and religious leaders, as well as CSOs, to step up their game, Ambassador Jackson said it was time to deal with a canker that hampered investment and growth and limited opportunities.

He also made a strong case for the quick establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor to deal with corruption-related crimes after a thorough and robust stakeholder consultation.

“We desire free exchange of information between the government and the international community on combating corruption and so ask the government to establish a single point of contact, someone who is authorised to engage with us specifically on these issues but also empowered to carry out significant change.”

Credit: Seth J. Bokpe / Graphic.com.gh