Mr Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo, Accra Regional Chairman, Association of Ghana Industries, has called for strategies to help find pathways to grow businesses towards the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
He said the Association believed that the challenge of industry currently was access and cost of capital to businesses.
Mr Akpeloo in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said, “We are also aware that the government is coming up with the establishment with a Developing Bank to support industries and I think it is a great intervention for industrial growth.”
He said the past year had been particularly challenging, on the account of unexpected and ravaging effect of COVID-19, which had engulfed the entire world with its attendant negative consequences on businesses and all aspects of life.
The Regional Chairman said prior to the COVID, AGI acknowledged the relative stability that was experienced in the macro-economic environment, with a consistent reduction in the policy rate, gradual fall in inflation levels and exchange rates hovering within reasonable limits.
”These were all good indicators of recovery and improvement in the macro-economic environment which will have been great to usher us into the AfCFTA threshold. Then suddenly, the COVID surfaced,” he said.
He said AGI completed a comprehensive study on the impact of COVID-19 in the latter part of last year, and it showed over 80 per cent of their members had been affected by the pandemic. “Then we were fortunate for the government to relieve industry by providing the stimulus for businesses affected by COVID-19,” he added.
He said as a leading private sector advocate in the country, AGI would continue to engage government and stakeholders on issues that affected industries but more importantly, develop programmes and systems that would help members to compete globally.
Mr Akpeloo said with the AfCFTA catching up with businesses as a country and also as industrialists, “it is significant that we develop a well-planned and deliberate strategy and combine their entrepreneurial and industrial efforts to reap the prosperous fortunes the AfCFTA presents.”
He said AfCFTA programme would enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through the exploitation of opportunities for large scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
“It is very important to state that AfCFTA is constantly featuring in every the aspect of government strategy on industrialization in terms of the policy making and agenda-setting and so on,” he added.