Wealth creation: The 4th horizon of Ghana’s growth
Ghana’s path to wealth creation depends on government and corporate Ghana working together to expand the economy and drive growth to resolve the growing high levels of unemployment, focusing on: Agribusiness, culture, arts and tourism, and ICT to power a vibrant economy and sustainably profitable enterprises.
In rough seas
Ghana is part of the fast-paced globalised economy characterised by technological change, disruption, uncertainties, and fierce competition.
Countries and organisations everywhere operate in a boundaryless world market, and no attempt by governments to erect economic barriers has protected any economy from the realities of global disasters.
The economic shutdown and social restrictions imposed by the COVID -19 pandemic, followed by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, catalysed the unravelling of globalisation and imposed the reform of the global economy.
The combined impact of these dislocations has disrupted global supply chains, created inflationary shocks in several countries, and caused hikes in energy and food prices.
Ghana’s rapid accumulation of unsustainable debt and debt service obligations precipitated its loss of access to international capital markets following the downgrade of the country’s credit rating to junk status and triggered capital flight.
Ghana faces many other issues, including poorly assessed and poorly funded social programmes, low revenue mobilisation and continuous fiscal expansion without the associated increase in productivity.
In addition, the sustained evaporation of investor confidence, declining growth rates, growing youth unemployment, over-dependence on imports — especially for food, and pervasive greed and corruption within the public sector and the political class have clouded Ghana’s growth prospects.
The deterioration of the macroeconomic environment brings into sharp focus the arduous journey out of the crises that Ghana must chart.
Ghana’s poor performance has exposed an economy bereft of guardrails and safety nets; and lacking resilience in the key sectors that the country traditionally relies on for trade income, domestic jobs growth and economic vibrancy.
In reply, academic, economic and political thought-leaders are increasingly converging on what we term a Trident Strategy to build a stable long-term path to growth based on Ghana’s long-stated intent to; Evolve from an agrarian economy to an agribusiness-driven economy; Recalibrate the culture, arts, and tourism sector into integrated vibrant business hubs; and invest in ICT infrastructure, innovations and associated human resources to support the domestic and export market opportunities in the agribusiness, culture, art and tourism sectors.
To succeed in this new global economic construct and become a significant player in trade and manufacturing, Ghana must build the three focus sectors to power a new economy by aggressively investing to: Develop, empower and liberate a high-quality, predominantly young workforce in a new business culture that rewards innovation, productivity, and global best performance; Raise productivity across the agribusiness value chain and modernise agriculture; Leverage the competitive advantages with the greatest potential for economic and jobs growth in the culture, arts and tourism sectors; and take on the challenge of rapid, ICT-enabled growth and world-class competition in productive sectors where the economy can perform at high levels of efficiency and productivity.
The economic strategies Ghana has relied upon no longer serve the path to growth and economic success. It is the integrated implementation of strategies emphasising Agribusiness, Culture, Arts and Tourism, and ICT to expand the economy, drive growth and resolve the growing high levels of unemployment that will deliver a vibrant new economy and sustainably, profitable enterprises.
Ishmael Yamson & Associates (IY&A) has designed business roundtable to showcase and activate dialogue on sustainable economic opportunities and avenues for economic progress.
The 2023 roundtable interactions today will reveal novel approaches to delivering a strong and sustainable economy, drawing on the opportunities in the new focus sectors - Agribusiness, Culture, Arts and Tourism, and ICT.
The writer is the Managing Partner, Ishmael Yamson & Associates