President Nana Akufo-Addo says the policy measures introduced by his government over the last five months have begun yielding the desired effects on the growth of the Ghanaian economy.
He said his government upon assuming office put before the Ghanaians the most ambitious program of social and economic transformation aimed at putting the country on the path of progress and prosperity. This program, the President said, is hinged on restructuring the institutions of our governance, modernising agriculture to enhance its productivity, a clear industrial policy, and rationalising the financial sector to support growth in agriculture, and growth in manufacturing and industry.
The policy initiatives put in place to bring relief to and encourage businesses, he said, include measures to stimulate the private sector, a monetary policy that will stabilise the currency and reduce significantly the cost of borrowing, in addition to a raft of tax cuts. “These interventions are already lowering the cost of doing business, and shifting the focus of our economy from taxation to production,” he said.
The President continued, “We aim also to enhance further the business atmosphere and make Ghana an easier place to conduct business through paperless transactions at our ports, and the removal of all internal customs barriers by the beginning of September.” He noted that his government’s flagship programs, “One District, One Factory”, and “Planting for Food and Jobs”, have been launched, with the aim of making Ghana’s economy the most business friendly on the continent of Africa, and in the world.
President Akufo-Addo added that this process of economic and industrial transformation is going along with ensuring that the most basic elements of social justice are met – making quality basic education and healthcare accessible to all – to promote a culture of incentives and opportunities. “We are determined to build a new Ghanaian civilisation, a Ghana beyond Aid. It is a Ghana where we aim to be masters of our own destiny, where we marshal our own resources for the future, breaking the shackles of the “Guggisberg” colonial economy of a producer of raw materials, and a mind-set of dependency, bailouts and extraction.
“It is an economy where we look past commodities to position ourselves in the global marketplace at the high end of the value chain. It is a country where we focus on trade, not aid, a hand-up, not a handout. “It is a country with a strong private sector. It is a country that recognises the connectedness of its people and economy to those of its neighbours. It is a country that is governed according to the rule of law, respect for individual liberties and human rights, and the principles of democratic accountability,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at a lunch organised for the Executive Meeting and Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Meeting of the International Democratic Union (IDU), the first time such a meeting is being held in the country of a member party in sub-Saharan Africa.
Fight against terrorism, populism
Touching on the “stormy, adverse winds” buffeting the world such as vicious terrorism, religious extremism, resurgent populism in the Western democracies, potentially devastating climatic and environmental changes, and growing inequality between the North and the South, President Akufo-Addo noted that never has the necessity to organise, mobilise and articulate clearly our values and message been greater.
“I have no doubt that, in doing so, we shall prevail here on this continent and around the world, and create harmony, serenity, and progress for our common planet and our common humanity, and, thereby, banish global poverty and hunger,” he added.
It was the expectation of the President that at the end of the IDU meeting, “we share best practices in governance, marketing strategies for winning elections, and refining the tools needed to ensure that we continuously gain and maintain the support of our electorates with each other.”
The political parties making up the membership of the IDU, the President said, are at the helm of some of the biggest and most successful economies and emerging markets in the world, and are having a positive impact on this generation.
“We must ensure that, with the aid of science and technology, the promotion of enterprise, innovation, and creativity, and the spread of democratic values, we offer the prospects of a constructing a new era of prosperity in freedom for all the peoples of the world. I am confident that we can work together to achieve this noble goal,” he added.