Trade Policies Must Be Job Creation Oriented -Businessman
A Kumasi businessman has suggested that trade policies evolved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry must be driven by the intent of creating jobs to solve the unemployment menace facing the country.
Mr. Patrick Adu Gyamfi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Century Investments Limited, producers of Century Sachet Mineral Water, says trade policies should be job creation-driven, and not for the sake of making policies because some officials think they must come out with some concept, whether it is practical and beneficial or not.
The government, through the Energy Commission, the regulator of the energy sector, issued a ban on the importation of used refrigerators and air-conditioners into the country effective January 1, 2013.
The ban also affected used television (TV) sets and electric irons, as announced by the Executive Secretary of the Energy Commission, Dr. Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, who explained that some second-hand TV sets with standby mode consume about 10 watts of electricity, and that the Commission and other stakeholders in the energy sector wanted Ghana to be free from electronic waste.
The Commission is drawing its authority from Act 541, which stresses the Promotion of Energy Efficiency as a core function.
But, Adu Gyamfi said merely banning the importation of second hand fridges and other electrical gadgets without considering other options, only compounds the unemployment situation.
Citing the ban on secondhand refrigerators as an example, Mr. Adu Gyamfi said the Trade Ministry could think of creating jobs for stakeholders by importing knock down parts of fridges to be assembled locally, and thus ensure that no one is pushed out of job.
He cited the Rlg example, by which the company is helping the youth to assemble phones, suggesting that the Ministry could arrange that the youth engage in assembling fridges, TV sets and electrical appliances for local consumption, to give meaning to the ban on the importation of secondhand gadgets.
This initiative would enhance the technical know-how of the apprentices, and instill creativity in them, as they ply the trade
The concerned businessman said it would be in the interest of, and for the good of the unemployed youth and those already in business, if his recommendations are given a serious thought.
He said until such steps are taken, the ban on the importation of second hand items would be a mere policy without any positive impact on the Ghanaian job market.
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