MANY suggestions have been given about how to deal with the turbulent economic situation facing the country in the past one-and-a-half years. Obviously the prominent among these proposals is to improve the productive sector to ensure that the private sector is given all the necessary support and attention it needs from government.
INDEED yes, we need a concerted effort to improve the country’s productive sector in order to grow the economy and enhance the nation’s economic competitiveness. But is it the first time as a country we are talking about resourcing the productive sector? The answer is a big No because successive governments in the past have been singing this song knowing very well that the only way we can survive economically is to make the productive sector as an integral part of governance.
IT was therefore not surprising to many people when during President Kufuor’s era the private sector was touted as an “engine of growth.” However, not much was seen under Kufuor’s watch. The truth of the matter is without increased productivity, efforts at balancing the nation’s trade account and consequently shoring up the value of the cedi will not yield the desired result.
THE consequences of our governments’ failure to revive the productive sector is what has landed the country into the fast fall of the local currency as now we import everything including tomato paste, toothpick, cassava, toilet tissue among other things. We can avoid this “economic temptation” of always going for foreign currencies such as the US dollar or the British pound to import these items which in other words could have been produced here in Ghana if our private sector is well-supported.
THE saddest thing is that while demand for foreign currency has increased, there is no corresponding increase in productivity and this has impacted negatively on the country’s economy. What is required is that the banks should be ready to support the productive sector of the economy in terms of trade and remittances by forming strategic alliances with stakeholders, both locally and internationally.
GOVERNMENT must also brace itself to provide project finance support for businesses that want to grow and act as a conduit for the flow of investment into Ghana for development. These measures are not anything difficult to implement to ensure that the country treads on the path of economic prosperity as the citizenry are yearning for. What probably in our estimation is hindering such a policy is bad and uncaring leadership.
OUR leaders must know that the national priority should be their number one focus and this is what is required of any democratic society. However, in the case of Africa, particularly Ghana, the situation is different. Our leaders do not show concern about the welfare of the people who put them in the helm of affairs making conditions of the people more miserable and uncomfortable.