Vice president Dr.Mahamadu Bawumia has disclosed that, as part of government strategies in building a stable economy, at least 70 % of tax funded contracts will be awarded to aid in building a vibrant local economy.
He said the micro economic indicators should be on the right direction to ensure the stability of the economy in order for deficits to decline.
He was speaking in a short pre-recorded video during the two day 2017 Ghana Economic Forum dabbed: building a Ghanaian owned economy, 60 years after independence, at Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel in Accra.
He is therefore explained, the initiative will help boost the confidence of Ghanaian entrepreneurs to contribute towards the building of a sustainable economy.
He said the many initiatives government has rolled out within the last seven months are aimed at encouraging investment in the economy.
“We are moving very quickly to formalize our economy along three pillars – build a national ID system, bringing a digital address system and have interoperability of payment,” Dr. Bawumia added.
He said, government is also going ahead with plans to formalize the economy in order to make it business – friendly.
Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the Senior Minister, also asked all stakeholders to come on board to domesticate the economy to make Ghanaian businesses to play major roles in curbing the challenges.
“Ghana must play a leading role and this means that our laws must support the private sector together with the captains of the industries, so that the Ghanaian will be on the steering wheel directing the economy,” the Senior minister said.
He charged the leading industries and the banking sector, to get involved in providing solutions to the economic challenges.
The forum is organised by the Business and Financial Times newspaper with Barclays Bank being the lead sponsor.
While Others include the Ghana News Agency, EIB Media Group, City FM, Zenith Bank, the GCB Bank, Agricultural Development Bank and United Merchant Bank.
The Senior minister noted that, the macroeconomic indicators had shown positive outlook with the decline of inflation, foreign exchange rate, interest rate, stable currency and high growth rate, which would be attractive to the private sector to invest in the local economy.
Mr Osafo-Maafo added that, Government inherited a debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 73.1 per cent instead of a 70 per cent threshold and, therefore, made it difficult for the economy to grow.
“If you go beyond the threshold of 70 per cent, you’re classified as heavily indebted country and no more poor because Ghana’s per capita income is over 400 dollars. It is only when your per capita is below 400 then you can go for the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status for debt cancellation, and so now Ghana cannot go to HIPC any longer,” he explained.
He noted that Ghana is currently a Lower Middle Income country and, thus, required to grow the economy in order to pay back the debt, and this has put the country in a difficult situation and the Government’s situation today is even more difficult than in 2001,” he added.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Government could not accomplish its revenue collection target for the first half of the year and, therefore, cut down certain expenditures in the Mid-year budget review so that it could spend within the revenue level and stabilise the macroeconomic environment for growth.
“Industrial development must be evenly spread across the country to ensure growth at the district level, hence the “One District, One Factory”, “One Village, One Dam” aimed at decentralising development,” he noted.
“The country have sufficient arable lands that could sustain crop production coupled with water bodies that could be tapped for irrigation, so do we have any reason to be importing food items like vegetables, flowers, rice and others, I don’t think we have and we can’t explain it to the future generation,” he said.
He was optimistic that, the four thematic areas could change the face of the Ghanaian economy and, therefore, urged the business community to support the Government to think right and find solutions to the economic challenges.
“The country had been undergoing restructuring with the support of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank with a special secretariat under the Office of the Senior Minister,” he disclosed.
He continued that, more graduates were being trained into the job market by almost a hundred and over universities in the country, thus, it was the private sector that could employ them if it expanded and thrived.
“Therefore, this generation should lay a foundation that will forever make Ghana a centre of industry in West Africa.
Let’s take advantage of the 350 million population in West Africa and domesticate our production because our location in the sub-region is very central, therefore let us resolve to get the economy resolved once and for all,” he charged.
Dr. Mrs Edith Dankwa, the Chief Executive Officer, of the Business and Financial Times (B&FT) Newspaper, in her welcome address, also called on the business community to help build the economy for a level playing field for Ghanaian companies to reach their potentials.
“The Ghanaian economy must retain the chunk of our resources for the benefit of its nationals,” she said.
According to her, in the quest to support entrepreneurship, the B& FT and the Ghana Economic Forum under the “Next Business Leaders Network” in April offered capacity-building training programme for young entrepreneurs so that they could stand on their feet for the next 12 to 18 months.
Dr. Mrs. Dankwa however, charged other corporate bodies to emulate the shining examples of the newspaper and support the young entrepreneurs in the country, in order for them to be able to absorb other employees.