The Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has called for a law to ban the exportation of raw materials, indicating that as long as the country continued to export raw products, the economy would suffer.
At this year’s annual general meeting of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr Osafo-Maafo said the country ought to begin to put in place the necessary steps to generate more from its natural resources.
Citing Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire as examples, he said the two countries “produce 60 per cent of the world’s cocoa beans but earn $5 billion jointly, whereas the chocolate chain industry earns $125 billion annually”.
“This thing must stop and we must halt any attempt to export raw materials,” Mr Osafo-Maafo stressed.
Regarding the role of the industry, Mr Osafo-Maafo stressed the need for the AGI to partner the government to find lasting solutions to challenges that derailed the country’s economic growth.
Mr Osafo-Maafo mentioned overspending as one of the major challenges slowing down Ghana’s growth and announced that the government would next year introduce a Fiscal Responsibility Act and Council to regulate the spending of state institutions.
According to the Senior Minister, the act would be an additional arsenal to support existing laws and strategies for creating a tidier economic environment for industrialisation.
The President of the AGI, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi, said the association appreciated the efforts being put in place by the government to support businesses to thrive.
However, he said, more needed to be done to ensure that issues that stifled the growth of businesses were addressed quickly.
Dr Gyamfi mentioned the depreciation of the country’s currency against the dollar as one of the major challenges affecting many businesses.
“With the cedi yielding to pressure from the major trading currencies within this second half of the year and ensuing uncertainties, it is difficult to conclude that our expectations of the year have been met,” he said.
Dr Gyamfi also called on the government to quicken the pace of the implementation of its flagship programmes, particularly the One-district, One-factory (IDIF).
According to him, although the association’s expectations of the IDIF initiative “seems to have waned”, it still had eyes on all the programmes since they had huge job creation prospects for the economy.