Hon. Dr. Ato Panford
Senior Advisor, Enterprise Support Specialist- Technical Audit
Hon Dr Ato Panford is the Senior Advisor (Enterprise Support Specialist- Technical Audit) at the National (AfCFTA) Coordinating Office. He was engaged 1st October, 2021 as a Lead Consultant and reports to the Minister responsible Trade & Industry through the Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade & Industry and the National (AfCFTA) Coordinator on the readiness of the private sector Industries and Exporters to be registered under AfCFTA protocols for strategic support through technical interventions to the Ghanaian Exporters through technical audits of their operations and make recommendations to the Minister for such specific strategic interventions to address the challenges Ghanaian Exporters face as bottlenecks in exporting onto the African Continental Market under AfCFTA.
He is and Industrialist with over 25 years both in Private and Public Sector experience specializing in SMEs Development, Technical Industrial Production and Processing, Technical Engineering and Installations, Factory Plant Installations and Audit of Systems and Processes in both food processing and manufacturing industries especially Thermoforming, Extrusion of Expandable Polystyrene (EPS, GPPS, HIPS etc.). Installation of international Integrated Quality Systems for certifications and training and couching of Key Management and Key Staff.
He is an astute expert in International Trade and Commerce in production for export markets meeting statutory and market Compliances and Conformities to promote trade. International Trade Policy Analyst interpreting policies for action steps and implementation.
He started as an industrial plant and marine engineer established his own companies (Manufacturing, Agro-Processing and Farming) as a private sector business promoter, leading the Western & Central Branches of Association of Ghana Industries and rising to be the Vice-President of AGI (SMEs). Developed a vibrant SME Sector for the association through policy and advocacy to support dynamically position them with good corporate governance, strategic planning, business restructuring, business process outsourcing (BPO), business couching and part of the AGI Council which designed Ghana Business Code a voluntary system in tandem with the ILO principles for business best practises in Ghana. Made key contributions into the Ghana Industrialisation Policy for the industrialisation of Ghana. He holds an BSc in Mechanical, Marine and Industrial Plant Engineering, MBA in Marketing and a Doctorate in Business Administration(DBS).
Hon Dr Ato Panford became a Member of the 7th Parliament of the Republic of Ghana represent the people of Shama Constituency in the Western Region and was appointed as the Vice-Chairman for the Select Committee for Trade, Industry and Tourism which has oversight responsibility over the Ministry of Trade & Industry and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. His tenure presided over challenges of some MMDAs under the Ministries mentioned supra touching some legislative issues of Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) with a Statement on the floor of Parliament which resulted in the new GSA Bill 2021 before the House, Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) draft Bill, Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) draft Bill, Ghana International Trade Commission (GITC) Legislative Instrument LI before the House, Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) paperless project, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) issues on the Kintampo Waterfall Disaster with an LI passed etc. just to mention few.
He is the immediate past Board Chairman for Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), formerly National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) of Ghana and led the transformation process from the national Board with the Ministry of Trade & Industry under the Minister and with parliamentary guidance to the Ministry, the Board and Management by passing the GEA Bill into an Act of Parliament (Act 1043, 2020) and accented by the President of the Republic of Ghana on 29th December, 2020 under his leadership empowering the SMEs with Business Resource Centres (BRCs) and Business Advisory Centres. Hon Dr Ato Panford Consults for World Bank Group and he is a currently the President’s Representative on the Takoradi Technical University ensuring that government policy for Technical Universities are implemented for the development and growth of the Technical University.
He also sits on the Advisory Board as a Member for Institute for Applied Science & Technology (IAST) of the University of Ghana Legon, Accra, Ghana which develops and improves technology for the private sector for enhanced production, productivity in industry.