Business News of Thursday, 20 September 2018
Chief Executive of Infrastructure Systems, Mr Charles K. Boakye, is calling for the establishment of an investment bank that would be a holding bank for Ghanaian industries.
He explained that the bank would create a network of Ghanaian companies within the various sectors to help boost the economy which can protect the country against foreign invasion.
He noted that the difference between the investment bank he was suggesting and the Exim Bank or the proposed National Development Bank is that even though the bank would be owned by the state it would be run as a private entity.
Mr Boakye who is also the Director of Institute for Infrastructure Development, a policy think tank was speaking on the sidelines of a public forum organised in Accra on the theme: ‘Creating Rapid Industrialization, Quality Employment and Stimulus for the Ghanaian Economy.’
The model, he said, has been used in a lot of countries as a booster for their economies such as the United States, United Arab Emirates (specifically Dubai), Singapore, among others.
Singapore’s success as a country cannot be talked about without Temasek, is a global investment company headquartered in Singapore, with a portfolio that spans a broad spectrum of industries: financial services; telecommunications, media and technology; consumer and real estate; transportation and industrials; life sciences and agribusiness; as well as energy and resources, he emphasised.
“If just a bank exits then the cocoa syndication, for example, will go to the investment or development bank and not the Ministry of Finance.”
He, however, stated that over the years such developments banks were not managed well, which is based on the inter-linkage with other sectors.
Mr Boakye said the establishment of an investment bank with the financial muscle and a network of suppliers and producers can be managed better to boost the economy.
Touching on agriculture, He said an effective agricultural revolution was a precursor to a successful industrialisation, but unfortunately, the quest for growth has led many developing countries to neglect their already weak agricultural sectors, whiles industries are not getting the quality and quantity of produce required for it to fully function.
He said until Ghana and third world countries as a whole produce in excess factories will remain empty, he said if the country wants to industrialise it must ensure that there is food security, adding that “A country that cannot feed its people cannot sustain itself economically.”
Mr Boakye said it was therefore important for the country to carefully address and develop the entire agriculture value chain network, from land to sea, fertilizer, machinery, storages, water, transport, processing as well as post-consumption waste recovery for recycling.
He said there have been instances where farmers have cut down their cash crops to grow another or sell their lands because the price of the cash crop they grow fell.
Agriculture cannot be managed with farmers changing the cash crops production with the slightest change of market forces, adding that no bank will grant credit for that.
He said industrialisation must be driven by long-run competitiveness with regard to how institutions work since the world is now a single marketplace
In order to industrialise, he said Ghana needs to start adding value to its raw materials.