“We want to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.”
Those were the words of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo when he held a roundtable meeting with some selected Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of leading African and international companies on the sidelines of the ongoing 5th edition of the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday, March 20, 2017.
Accompanied by the CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yoofi Grant, the president noted that the sentiment of the party out of which his government is born “is instinctively to look for private sector solutions to the economic issues in our country. We are unashamedly the party of the private sector.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that in recent years, the private sector had suffered major deficits such as poor access to credit, high interest rates, erratic power supply and a business climate that had not been conducive.
In line with this, he noted that on 7th December, 2016, the Ghanaian people voted for change in direction, and tasked him to rectify the situation and improve on their conditions of living.
“We have started doing something about it. Our first budget outlines some fairly radical, new measures. A lot of the taxes that were brought up, in the period where our deficit was growing, have either been reduced or abolished. We have taken off as much as GH¢1 billion in taxes out of the revenue net for the doing of business in Ghana, with the commitment of doing more,” he told the CEOs.
In addition to this, President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government to reducing the fiscal deficit from 9% to 6% this year, with further reduction next year.
“Additionally, we have decided that it is important to provide stimulus to the tune of $100 million to local industries that are in distressed states and to assist new companies to grow in the country,” Nana Addo pointed out.
He told the CEOs that the revival and modernization of Ghana’s agriculture is also a major part of his administration’s agenda of creating and providing jobs for the people.
The sector, he said, is one area government is looking at bringing in investment.
Referring to the 1% of the country’s revenue dedicated to agriculture in the erstwhile Mahama administration, President Akufo-Addo indicated that his commitment is, at least, to match the 4% of revenue allocated to the sector by the Kufuor-led NPP government.
“If the country is to make any meaningful change in the lives of the people, our efforts must be directed at this sector. The majority of people can only feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture,” he added.
He assured the CEOs that Ghana is open for business, stressing that the creation of a conducive business environment would ensure that their businesses flourish to create prosperity for the Ghanaian people.