Gertrude Torkornoo (2nd from right), Chief Justice, presenting the ultimate award to a representative of KEDA Ghana Ceramics Company Limited. With her is Kobina Tahir Hammond (right), Minister of Trade and Industry, and some officials of KEDA Ghana. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

The Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Torkornoo, has called on the business community to partner the judiciary to make more facilities available to promote virtual hearings in all 430 courts across the country. 

She said that would enable parties, particularly those in the diaspora to save cost and time since they would not need to travel all the way to the country for the sole purpose of participating in a trial.

“Businesses and chambers of commerce and industry can adopt regions, districts and different levels of court to provide line items such as e-auction platforms and e-signature for easy delivery of court proceedings and virtual hearing,” Justice Torkornoo added.

The Chief Justice made the call at the 12th edition of the Association of Ghana Industry (AGI) awards ceremony in Accra last Tuesday.

It was on the theme: “Promoting local production in an ever changing business climate.” 


In all, 27 individuals and companies were honoured for their excellent performance during the year under review.

KEDA Ghana Ceramics Company Ltd won the Overall Best Industrial Company of the Year award, while GB Food was also declared the Overall Best National Quality Company of the Year. 

Nestle Ghana Ltd won the Best Company Employer of the Year and Best Practices in Sustainable Manufacturing.

Nutrifoods Ghana Ltd was declared the Fastest Growing Company of the Year; Ghana National Gas Company Ltd – Best Company in Corporate Social Responsibility, while Dansworld International Services received the Young Enterprise award.

Honorary awards were presented to the Ghana Enterprise Agency, GIZ Ghana, the European Union and the Volta River Authority.

Dispute resolution

The World Bank 2020 report on the ease of doing business in Ghana mentioned long periods of settling trade and commercial disputes laws as some of the bottlenecks in the country.

Justice Torkornoo said efforts to ease those challenges had long been recognised.

The Chief Justice said Commercial Courts, which were at the level of the High Court, were set up in 2007 to exclusively adjudicate cases of that nature. 

She also explained that the passage of the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 87, which amended the High Court Civil Procedure Rules, makes room for hearings to be conducted electronically via video link.

Justice Torkornoo added that accessibility to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for all commercial disputes had been expanded from Commercial Courts to include all commercial disputes regulated by CI 47 through the enactment of CI 133.  

Currently, the structures set up under CI 87 and CI 133 for hearings were being used at the second and third tiers of trial courts – circuit and high courts, which were regulated by the High Court Civil Procedure Rules CI 47.

“Unfortunately, the Judiciary does not have enough facilities to make the option of virtual hearings available in all the 430 courts around the country,” the Chief Justice said. 

Local production

The President of AGI, Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, described this year as one of the most difficult years for the local manufacturing industry.

“Our global supply chains have shown their vulnerability in the face of crises, from the recent pandemic to geopolitical tensions.

When we scale up local production, we create a buffer against these uncertainties. 

“We are better prepared to weather storms and ensure that essential goods and services we rely on remain accessible when we need them the most,” Dr Ayim-Darke said.

He said local production was a catalyst for job creation and economic growth and added that a strong local economy rippled through society, creating opportunities and shared prosperity for all.

The president, therefore, urged policymakers to create favourable conditions for local businesses through the provision of incentives, grants and supportive regulations.

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