Online registration is expected to completely take over the manual registration of businesses by the close of 2018.
The addition, which is expected to enhance service delivery, would be a shift from the old system where a registrant had to go to the offices of the department to pick up the certificates after the online registration process.
Launching the E-certificate component in Accra on Thursday, the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, commended the Registrar-General, Mrs Jemima Oware, and members of her team for the innovation.
“The launch of the innovation shows the culmination of hard work to reform and enhance the department’s service delivery in line with the President’s vision to make Ghana the most business-friendly nation in Africa,” he said.
Dr Bawumia expressed optimism that once the new Company’s Act, which was currently before Parliament was passed into law, “which is expected to be soon,” commencement certificate would no longer be a requirement to start a business, in addition to the incorporation certificate.
“We would work with Parliament to facilitate the speedy passage of the Act,” he added.
The Vice-President said although registration was the first step to starting a business, in time past, it took three months to do a name authentication or search before registration which, he said, was not conducive for economic development.
“What we are witnessing today is an example of Public Private Partnership with support from development partners, such as the World Bank with the aim of re-engineering the business processes of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Registrar General’s Department,” he said.
In her welcome address, Mrs Oware said the purely manual system the department was running, was bedevilled with delays and inefficiencies.
In July 2004, she said, the department initiated the reform process with the support of the government and its development partners.
She gave an assurance that measures had been put in place to authenticate the E-certificate, making it as good as the manual one and could be used to replace the latter in any business transaction.
It carries the same weight as the manual one and, therefore, should be accepted anywhere it is presented, she added.
The Attorney- General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo, who has oversight responsibility of the department, said corruption remained a scourge to national development and doing business, particularly, in Africa.
She was optimistic that the new system would reduce the corruption that was associated with the manual system at the department.
Statements were also made by the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful; the Minister of Business Development, Mr Mohammed Awal; the Chief Executive Officer of GCnet, Dr Nortey Omaboe, and a representative of the Association of Ghanaian Industries.