“We have a laser focus on the economy” – Dr Bawumia

Accra – Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has said Government has began implementing policies and programmes intended to make Ghana the most business-friendly country in Africa.

These include ensuring fiscal discipline, cutting the budget deficits, managing the national debt and undertaking measures to fight corruption, he said.

Vice President Bawumia said this when a delegation from Stanbic Bank- Ghana, and some senior officials from its parent company, Standard Bank Group from South Africa, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House, in Accra.

The delegation, led by Alhassan Andani, the Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank-Ghana, was at the Presidency to discuss issues relating to the economy and affirm their commitment to doing business in Ghana to help drive the country’s development agenda.

Dr Bawumia said the New Patriotic Party won the 2016 General Elections based on the assurance of bringing drastic change to Ghana’s economic fortunes and that the Nana Akufo-Addo’s led Administration was determined to deliver in that regard.

This is a reformist government. Our message for change was on economic transformation, curbing corruption and that is fundamentally what we are doing.

We are keeping a close, laser focus on the economy so that we do not get any surprises, so we can stay ahead of the curve.

The fundamental source of what we intend to do is solid fiscal discipline and consolidation. The deficit is expected to be brought down from 9 to 6.5 per cent, and we are cutting down government expenditure, Dr Bawumia said.

He said the government was working around the clock to ensure stability in the provision of utilities such as electricity and water to reduce cost of production and manufacturing.

Vice President commended Stanbic Bank for its immense contribution made to the country over the years and called on the private sector to partner government to implement programmes designed to make the lives of Ghanaians better.

Mr Helmut Engelbrecht, Executive Head of the Bank in-charge of Corporate Banking, Africa Regions, pledged the commitment of the Standard Bank Group, to support Ghana’s development agenda.

We are ready to share experiences gained in the 20 African countries where we operate, to help you further modernise the Ghanaian economy, he said.

The delegation included Kwamina Asomaning, Executive Head, Corporate and Investment Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; Madam Sylvia Inkoom, Executive Head, Corporate Banking, Stanbic Bank-Ghana; and Mawuko Afadzinu.

The rest included David Humphrey, Group Executive Head, Power and Infrastructure � Standard Bank Group, Simon Ashby-Rudd, Group Executive Head, Oil & Gas Sector � Standard Bank Group; and Jaco Burger, Group Executive Head, Corporate Banking, South, West and Central Africa � Standard Bank Group.

The Standard Bank Group is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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President Akufo-Addo urges increased sale of Ghanaian goods at malls

Accra – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has bemoaned the fact that Ghana continues to be a retailer of cheap imported goods, whilst indigenous products suffered low patronage.

He said the phenomenon has weakened the capacity of local producers, and has thus urged shop owners and supermarkets to increase the proportion of Ghanaian products in their outlets.

President Akufo-Addo expressed the worry at the official launch of the Kumasi City Mall (KCM) on Wednesday, where he indicated that it was his hope that the KCM would not be a place only for the sale of imported goods, but also for the sale of Ghanaian goods.

It would be truly commendable if, by the end of the first year of its operation, at least 20 per cent of the goods that are sold here should be of Ghanaian origin, and the percentages increase as Ghanaian industrial production rapidly expands.

I know very well that, in some of our malls and supermarkets across the country, carrots sold, for example, are imported from Holland. Some of the dressed chickens on sale have also come from Brazil. Indeed, the items originating from Ghana and from our local entrepreneurs constitute barely a paltry 5 percent of goods on sale, the President lamented.

President Akufo-Addo noted, however, that all over the world, new enterprises, such as the KCM, have spawned the creation of jobs and investments, and triggered increased local spending.

Supermarkets and many shopping malls in several parts of the world, particularly in the advanced economies, have become magnets for production. It is my hope that the Kumasi City Mall will not only be a place for the sale of imported goods, but also Ghanaian goods, he added.

President Akufo-Addo urged shop owners and supermarkets, like Shoprite, to increase the proportion of Ghanaian goods sold at the shop, by getting more local farmers and entrepreneurs to produce for them.

We want Kumasi to be a place of work again, not just a place where people come for funerals. We want to bring jobs back to this city, and restore Kumasi to its position, once again, of being the Garden City. The support government gives to the private sector is intended to translate into greater economic activities of our entrepreneurs, producers and farmers. Kumasi City Mall should bear witness of this increased activity, he added.

Whilst acknowledging the challenges confronting the country’s economy, the President pledged that his government aims to liberate the energies of the youth by harnessing talent and building skills, inspiring innovation and risk taking, connecting to global value chains and, most importantly, nurturing a deep sense of patriotism.

He, thus, encouraged the youth to take advantage of the immense opportunities this mall presents.

Last month, I launched the programme for ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ in Goaso, in the Brong Ahafo Region. Organise yourselves and get involved in this initiative. I am certain that my admonition to shop owners of this mall will not go unheard. They will surely buy from you, if your produce meets the standard, which I am confident it can, he urged.

President Akufo-Addo said it is the belief of his government is that given an enabling environment, the creativity and sense of enterprise of the Ghanaian will enable us to build a strong, powerful economy which can deliver a good, dignified standard of living to our people.

He said Ghana’s economy cannot grow if it remains, primarily, a raw material producing and exporting country, explaining that we cannot create the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of jobs for the masses of our young people if the sustenance of our economy is import dependent and import driven, as well as being dependent on raw material exports.

President Akufo-Addo said the economic programme of his government is hinged on the addition of value to the country’s raw materials in a process of rapid industrialization, as agricultural production and productivity is enhanced.

Our priority is to do all we can to give our entrepreneurs the certainty of a positive business environment, devoid of arbitrary and irrational policy initiatives, so that they can do what they should do best � INVEST IN THE NUMEROUS OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE JOBS AND PROPSPERITY, he said.

The President said the initiatives introduced in the Budget are aimed at stimulating private sector activity, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production. To this end, I urge the private sector to take advantage of this new focus, which is offering opportunities to local ingenuity and production.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >President Akufo-Addo urges increased sale of Ghanaian goods at malls