Rt Rev Kofi Asare-Bediako
THE Methodist Church of Ghana has expressed concern about the socio-economic challenges the country is currently faced with.
The church had, therefore, charged the political leaders to work hard at transforming the structure of the Ghanaian economy which is largely an unbridled import economy and unprocessed produce export regime.
The church stated that conscious and deliberate actions are needed to change the structure of the economy, saying, ?The Ghanaian economy will not survive in this world of competition if it remains import-driven with few unprocessed exports.?
This was contained in an address made by the Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese of the Methodist Church, Rt Rev Kofi Asare-Bediako, during the 35th Annual Synod held at the Wesley Methodist Church at Chiraa, near Sunyani recently.
The three-day synod under the theme: ?Witnessing to Christ: Teaching and Training for Effective Discipleship?, which ended on Sunday, April 27, 2014, was attended by 55 ministers and 71 laities.
To this effect, the Methodist Church had proposed that experts be assembled to identify critical items of consumption and imports in which the nation has comparative production advantages and put forward proposals for their establishment.
?Such industries must aim at mobilising resources or funding from local sources as well as obtaining support from Ghanaians living abroad. The industries could be operated on joint-venture basis for proper monitoring and supervision. The Government can provide the foreign exchange component as its share capital for the setting up of such industries,? the church suggested.
The Diocesan Bishop further explained that the Asian economies developed along those lines of growing indigenous industries with government support and assistance
According to him, the current structure of the economy accounts largely for the unfavourable balance of trade which exerts undue pressure on the Cedi, causing its free fall and depreciation.
Election 2016 And Cedi Fall
Rev Asare-Bediako called for stakeholders meetings ahead of the 2016 to deliberate and identify the factors which evoke tensions, fears and acrimonies that characterise Ghana?s presidential and parliamentary elections every four years.
?It is not an exaggeration to mention that the frightful conditions we experience at elections tend to destabilise the economy and have repercussions for the free fall of the Cedi against the major currencies,? he stated.
The Diocesan Bishop further noted that the repatriation of capital by foreigners as well as the transfer of funds by citizens during election periods, put pressure on the dollar and other foreign currencies which eventually pushes the Cedi to depreciate.
?It is therefore not surprising that the Cedi depreciates against these major foreign currencies after every national election and the cycle continues,? he pointed out.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani West, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, promised to take over the entire construction of the Asuakwaa Methodist Health Centre which has come to a standstill due to lack of funding.
FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Chiraa