Akwasi Oppong-Fosu, a Minister of State at the Presidency, said Ghana had begun moves to review measures aimed at supporting the local wood and furniture industry to provide jobs for Ghanaians.
He was addressing a national stakeholders meeting on local wood and furniture industry in the capital Accra.
The conference assembled wood producers, real estate developers, investors and technocrats to discuss how to address challenges facing the sector.
The timber industry until recently has been a major contributor to Ghana’s economy, providing direct livelihoods to about 200,000 people.
It used to account for some 11 percent of Ghana’s total foreign exchange earnings and contributed to between four and six percent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product.
Current developments in the sector such as high cost of plant maintenance and high electricity tariffs have however negatively affected its growth.
Oppong-Fosu said the government had set itself to using a variety of instruments to motivate manufacturers in the industry.
He said the Forestry Commission of Ghana had been directed to implement programs that would ensure the preservation of the remaining stock of the country’s forests to meet the raw material needs of the industry.
“We are doing all this and more because we believe it is an industry that has a great potential to create not only wealth for the owners but also sustainable jobs and bring in the required revenue to the country,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Samuel Afari Dartey, urged manufacturers to come up with quality products to compete with imported goods and complement each other’s efforts to dominate the domestic industry. Enditem