Moses Agyemang, Senior Economist at the Private Enterprises Federation (PEF), said the macro-instability with Ghana as an inflation-prone country made it difficult for industry to have a conducive economic environment to grow.
Speaking to Xinhua here on Thursday during the launch of this year’s Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference, Agyemang noted that Ghana had one of the highest inflation rates in the sub-region.
The Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference is organized by the Africa Business Media, publishers of the Ghana Business and Finance Magazine, is in its fourth year and seeks to bring stakeholders to the same platform to discuss growing trends in Ghana’s economic development.
With this, he said credit came to industry at very high cost and was also just short-term, making it difficult for industry to access the needed credit to grow.
“The Francophone countries have a far lower inflation rate as they have a converged monetary zone (UEMOA) which is supported by the European Central Bank, hence the more favorable macro conditions in those countries,” he explained.
Ghana’s inflation reached 17.6 percent in 2015 but most of the francophone countries have far lower inflation figures.
“With such low inflation figures, the francophone countries have very low interest rates, which is more acceptable than here,” the economist argued.
Agyemang urged authorities to take steps to end the age-old cycle of macro-economic instability, which he conceded had been with Ghana for over 30 years to ensure a conducive macro-economic environment for industry to be able to access a “fairly priced medium term credit” for industrial growth.
Concerning energy supply, he said the country also needed to ensure that the energy crisis, which was also an age-old one, was dealt with once and for all to enable manufacturing, services as well as the agriculture sectors which depend on power for operations to have enough power for their work.
“When these are done, our industries will become competitive against their counterparts and the country can see growth, job creation and poverty alleviation,” the economist added.
On his part, Kofi Afresah Nuhu, Director for Manufacturing Division at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the government had developed an Export Development Strategy which sought to maximize the country’s export potentials.
According to him, these measures which are hinged on value addition along the value chain of agriculture and other sectors, is aimed at raising the necessary Foreign Exchange (FX) to cater for the country’s import needs, create jobs for the teeming youth and alleviate poverty through sustained job creation.
“All our governments have stated their intention to create jobs for the youth in their programs of action but the best way to create sustainable jobs is through industrial development and manufacturing, hence our decision to develop an export-led industrial base for the country,” Nuhu explained. Enditem.