By Papisdaff Abdullah
President of the republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has said his government is keen on building a business-friendly economy. The President, at the 6th Africa CEO Forum assured potential private sector investors of the security of their investments.
In his address at the Forum, held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, President Akufo-Addo stressed that “Ghana is endowed with great potential, where security and the rule of law are upheld, where investments are secure.”
The Ghanaian leader noted that over the last 14 months, his administration has focused its energies on trying to build a resilient economy, and put in measures aimed at helping move Ghana to a situation beyond aid. With some degree of success, President Akufo-Addo told the Forum that “we have put in place, in Ghana, since I took office, a monetary policy that has stabilized our currency, and has reduced significantly inflation and the cost of borrowing.”
President Akufo-Addo stated that the Ghanaian economy, whose growth rate stood at 3.6%, in 2016, the lowest in two decades, grew by 7.9% in 2017, and is expected to grow, in 2018, by 8.3%, which, according to the IMF, would make it the fastest growing economy in the world this year.
He added that “we have implemented a raft of tax cuts which has brought relief to businesses, and, at the same time, reduced substantially our fiscal deficit. These interventions are lowering the cost of doing business, and are shifting the focus of our economy from an emphasis on taxation to an expansion of production.”
In order to create a Ghana that is “able to mobilize our own material and human resources to develop a strong economy, capable of generating prosperity for the mass of our people, and construct a Ghana no longer dependent on handouts and charity”, the President stated that the rapid growth of the private sector is an essential ingredient in realizing his government’s vision of a Ghana Beyond Aid.
“There are many projects in roads, railways, water transport, industry, manufacturing, agriculture, petroleum and gas, renewable energy, the exploitation of our mineral wealth of bauxite, iron ore and gold, and ICT, amongst others, which, if properly structured, can attract private sector financing,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo continued, “Key to attracting private sector investment is not only creating a conducive, business friendly and peaceful environment, but, also, fashioning a state machinery fit to provide strong, regulatory support for private enterprise to thrive. That, for us, is the heart of the private-public-partnership that can fast-track our development.”
He further indicated that the aim of his government is to create a state machinery that can manage efficiently its fiscal and monetary responsibilities that can reform its tax administration to ensure that all private sector operators discharge their full tax obligations to enhance domestic resource mobilization, and that can promote the rule of law.
“It is important that all of us make systematic efforts to turn our backs on the sad history of massive flights of capital out of our country and continent from unconscionable inter-company pricing and other practices, and lay the conditions for fairness in the administration of our economies,” he added.
He told the Forum, comprising African CEOs, bankers and investors that Ghana wants to participate in the global market place “not on the basis of the exports of raw materials, but on the basis of things we make. We want to bring greater dignity to the lives of millions of people in Ghana. We want to build a Ghana Beyond Aid.”