John Dramani Mahama (right), flag bearer of the NDC, speaking at the meeting in Accra. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
John Dramani Mahama (right), flag bearer of the NDC, speaking at the meeting in Accra. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

We’ll be intentional in promoting local businesses — John Mahama

The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has pledged to deliberately promote the growth of local industries to enhance economic development. 


Speaking at an interactive stakeholder engagement with members of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) in Accra last Tuesday, he assured the business community that his administration would prioritise local production, implement sound government policies and protect industries from trade vulnerabilities.

The meeting, which was partly held behind closed doors, was attended by some of the leading manufacturers in the country and members of the NDC, including former government appointees. 


The former President said it had been proven that businesses thrived in a stable macro-economic environment, where revenue measures were designed to motivate local production for growth and fiscal consolidation.

As a result, he said industry needed protection from trade vulnerabilities through sound government policies which his government intends to implement when given the mandate in this year’s election.

Mr Mahama said such measures would put the economy on the path of recovery and growth, shift it from import dependency and make it export driven. 

“It is for this reason that I commit to partnering the sector to develop and implement an Industrial Policy that will help transform our economy in line with my vision of ‘Building the Ghana We Want,” he added. 


The former President, who is bidding for a second term, outlined plans to revamp strategic industries. “We would work to revamp and reignite strategic industries such as Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) because of the downstream aluminium sector, while boosting the production of rice, sugar, tomato, fish, poultry, meat and meat products, vegetable cooking oil and pharmaceutical products.

“Once local capacity in the production of these are increased and boosted, we shall place restrictions on the unbridled importation of such items,” he said. Mr Mahama also noted that high taxes were consuming the capital of businesses although the ruling government, while in opposition, promised to move the country from taxation to production.

The General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Kwetey, also said that the business community had suffered from the harsh economic conditions due to the mismanagement of the economy by the government.  

“It will be our responsibility to help put this nation to where it belongs when we are elected,” he said. 


The President of AGI, Dr Humphrey Kwesi Ayim Darke, mentioned six of the pressing issues confronting the industry. He said high power costs, macro-economic indicators and tax exemptions were some of the hindrances affecting productivity.

Dr Darke called for the harnessing of nuclear power to reduce energy costs, support for commercial farming to enhance agricultural productivity, and the introduction of a policy to promote local demand to stimulate economic growth.

“Look at the food basket as a low hanging fruit and go into commercial farming on a large scale deliberately. “Through research we can agree on which products to prioritise, support farmers and create a system to encourage productivity in agribusiness,” he added.

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