President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has indicated Ghana’s readiness to shift its relations with Germany from the age-old export of raw materials and aid to trade and investment.
He explained that an increase in trade and investment co-operation between the two countries was the only way to put Ghanaian products at the high end of the value chain in the global marketplace and, thereby, create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians, particularly the youth.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the German-Ghanaian Economic Forum, organised by the German Chamber of Commerce and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, last Tuesday, February 27, 2018.
While expressing his delight in the fact that German development co-operation was being aligned with his government’s vision of moving Ghana Beyond Aid, President Akufo-Addo added that his administration had implemented measures aimed at attracting investment, both domestic and foreign, as well as stimulating the growth of the Ghanaian private sector.
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“We have introduced a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing and initiated a raft of tax cuts that are bringing relief to and encouraging businesses,” he said.
The President indicated that Ghanaian industry was undergoing a spectacular revival, while there was a decline in interest rates, with a more stable cedi, adding that, overall, “our macro-economy is growing stronger”.
Ghana, he said, was on the path of building the most business-friendly economy in Africa that would have room to create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
Additionally, he said, his government had taken specific measures which would lead the country into the new digital age, including the introduction of an e-business registration system, a paperless port clearance system, a digital addressing system, a mobile inter-operability system and a national identification card system, all designed to formalise the Ghanaian economy, reduce the cost of doing business and facilitate interaction between businesses and their clients, particularly in a technology-driven era when connectivity through digital services was an important element in achieving competitiveness.
“I am, thus, notifying the German business community to take advantage of the growing business-friendly climate in the country to invest in Ghana,” he said.
“Our flagship policies of One-district, One-factory, One-village, One-dam and Planting for Food and Jobs map out areas of opportunity which I recommend to you, as I do in the development of renewable energy and ICT growth. We are particularly keen to receive German investment in the area of renewable energy, for reasons that are self-evident,” he stressed.
Touching on the challenge of the country’s infrastructural deficit, he said the government was embarking on an aggressive public/private partnership programme to attract investment in the development of both road and railway infrastructure.
“We are hopeful that with solid private sector participation, we can develop a modern railway network, with strong production centre linkages and the potential to connect us to our neighbours to the north, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire to the west and Togo to the east. We believe that this is an area where German and European technology and expertise will be very welcome,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that Ghana was on the cusp of a new, bold beginning which would repudiate the recent culture of failure.
“We are determined to lift our country out of the doldrums. We want to use all the blessings that the Almighty has bestowed on us to bring progress and prosperity to our people, in our time. The Black Star is poised to shine and shine again, for, truly, the project is Ghana Beyond Aid,” he said.