We will grow economy faster - Prez Akufo-Addo

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
President Akufo-Addo interacting with some Norwegian business owners after the forum in Accra. Looking on are Mr Kojo Oppong  Nkrumah (3rd from left), Minister of Information, and Ms Ingrid Mollestad (left), Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana.  Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
President Akufo-Addo interacting with some Norwegian business owners after the forum in Accra. Looking on are Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (3rd from left), Minister of Information, and Ms Ingrid Mollestad (left), Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

The government is working to grow the economy at much faster rate to ensure a win-win environment for both the private and public sectors, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

He said this would engender a situation where companies would not only survive, but actually thrive.

President Akufo-Addo was addressing a Ghana-Norway business and investment forum in Accra yesterday.

The forum, which was on the theme: “Reconvene, reconnect re-engage”, attracted captains of business associations in the country and from Norway, including some government officials.

Obatanpa initiative

The President said the major programme driving the revival and revitalisation of the economy was the Gh¢100 billion Ghana Cares Obatanpa initiative which main elements included attracting educated youth to commercial farming and building the country's light manufacturing sector.

Others are developing engineering machine tools and ICT digital economy, housing and construction industry, the establishment of a regional hub, reviewing and optimising the implementation of government flagship food and key programmes, creating jobs for young people and expanding opportunities for the vulnerable in society.

President Akufo-Addo further said it was exciting time to do business in Ghana and mentioned global car manufacturing giants, Toyota and Nissan of Japan and sinotruk of China who had already established assembly plants in the country, as a first step towards the production of vehicles.

He said Twitter would also be establishing its African headquarters in Ghana, adding that Google's first African artificial intelligence centre was already in the country.

The country was also hosting the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which represents a market of some 1.2 billion people spread across 54 countries with a combined GDP of some $3 trillion.

Norway investments

According to President Akufo-Addo, records from the Ghana investment Promotion Centre indicate that a total of 29 projects from Norway, with an FDI value of $175 million, have already been registered.

The investment, which are in various sectors of the economy, include agriculture, building and construction, general trading, manufacturing and oil and gas.

He urged the other businesses in Norway to take advantage of the investment friendly climate in Ghana to grow their businesses.

“Regardless of where the investment is, government has instituted a number of fiscal incentives for investors depending on the nature of the activity or the location of the investment”, the President added.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Ingrid Mollestad, described the country as an oasis of peace in the midst of a turbulent region and very attractive for business.

She stressed that continued collaboration between Ghana and Norway, especially among the private sector, would lead to the attainment of sustainable development goals as well as Ghana Beyond Aid.