Ibrahim Awal eyes GH¢200bn GDP by 2020

The Minister for Business Development, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, wants the private sector to collaborate more with the government to grow the economy and triple annual gross domestic product (GDP) to GH¢200 billion by 2020.

The increased collaboration is also needed to reverse the uninspiring growth rates recorded in recent years, the minister said at the 2nd CEO’s Summit in Accra.

He said the rate at which Ghana’s economy is growing was not the best and in order to improve it, the government would continue to dialogue and collaborate with the private sector to create the needed space and environment for the private sector to flourish.

“Can we move our GDP from GH¢40 billion to about GH¢80 billion by close of the year? In four years, can we move our GDP from 40 to about GH¢200 billion,” Mr Awal asked at the conference which was attended by CEOS in the country.

“I think we can do that; we must challenge ourselves. Can we work together to move GDP growth rate of 3.6 per cent to about six per cent by the close of the year? Can we get GDP rate of growth of 14 per cent as we did in 2009, 2010? We can do it; we have the brains to do it,” he emphasised.

He also revealed plans by the government to make Ghana the most competitive and business-friendly economy in Africa and the world at large but said such plans could not be achieved without support from the private sector.

Keep govt on its toes

The minister also advised the private sector to keep the government on its toes and push it to fulfil its promises and pledges to them.

He said the private sector should give the government lots of tasks, “don’t let us sleep. Constantly bombard us with issues, let us constantly fulfill the promises and pledges we made to you that we want to build a sound business environment.”

He pointed out that the government intended to build indigenous Ghanaian businesses and at the same time help the foreign businesses to survive.

Leveraging on digitisation

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Margin Group, Mr Moses Kwesi Baiden, speaking on the theme for the summit, “Digital Innovation Economy”, urged the country to leverage on digitisation.

He said digitisation could result in a global US$4.4 trillion gain in nominal GDP, an extra US$930 billion in the cumulative household income for the poorest and 64 million new jobs for the most economically marginal groups.

“This will enable 580 million people to climb above the poverty line. All aspects of our lives will be significantly improved by digitising our economy,” he said.

Digital revolution

The CEO of the Chief Executive Officers Network Ghana, organisers of the summit, Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyir, said digital revolution was bringing about changes in modes of production and patterns of consumption, in how people understood the world, in how people governed, and even in how people lived together in society.

He said the digital economy was, however, a double-edged sword as it presented risks, as well as opportunities and chances for inclusion and exclusion.

“It provides new prospects of growth for us as local players, as well as for international players preying on our markets. The digital economy is developing rapidly worldwide. It is the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth, and it holds huge potential,” he stated.

“Unfortunately, most CEOs are yet to exploit this gold mine. How Ghanaian businesses adopt digital technologies will be a key determinant of their future growth,” he added.

He said new digital trends such as cloud computing, mobile web services, smart grids and social media were radically changing the business landscape, reshaping the nature of work, the boundaries of enterprises and the responsibilities of business leaders.

These trends, he said, would enable more than just technological innovation.

“They will spur innovation in business models, business networking and the transfer of knowledge and access to international markets. Business successes and industry players have shifted from holding the biggest physical assets to holding the capability to source the largest customer base,” he noted.