Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia says the Government is creating a conducive environment to empower Ghanaian enterprises as frontline actors to leverage on opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for rapid economic growth.
It was fully committed to the implementation of the AfCFTA, which would provide an impetus and dynamism for Africa’s rapid growth and shared progress and prosperity, he said.
“We owe it to generations unborn to ensure that the biggest trading bloc on the globe, whose outcomes will be rewarding to all, and which will assist in attaining the ‘Africa We Want,’ does not falter.”
Vice President Bawumia said this in Accra on Tuesday when he opened the 74th Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon.
The three-day conference is on the theme: “Positioning the African Market for Sustainable Economic Development through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)”.
It is under the auspices of the School of Continuing and Distance Education, College of Education, University of Ghana and expected to attract about 400 participants.
These are from public and private sector agencies, academia, the diplomatic community and civil society organisations to deliberate on topical national and international issues to shape policy and engender socio-economic development.
A communique is expected to be issued at the end of the programme to capture the recommendations of participants and discussants.
Vice President Bawumia said the overarching aim of government’s measures was to harness the benefits of the AfCFTA, expand the Ghanaian economy, and create sustainable jobs for the youth.
“To do this, we need the private sector to take advantage of agreements such as the AfCFTA to expand production both in industry and agriculture and take the lead in the socio-economic transformation of our country, as others have done elsewhere,” he stated.
“Government has to assist this process by fashioning and implementing a comprehensive set of policies that will empower the private sector to achieve its goal.”
It was in that vein that it had focused on building the human capital through an emphasis on STEM, free technical and vocational education and free senior high school education, Dr Bawumia said.
The appropriate fiscal, monetary, financial, energy and digitalisation policies are being implemented to enable Ghanaian enterprises to be competitive and achieve comparative advantage in trade as well as attract investors to the country.
Some of the policies and programmes implemented by the Akufo-Addo’s Administration are the Unique Identity (Ghanacard), Digital Address System, Financial Inclusion through mobile money interoperability, Universal QR Code Payment System, and digitisation of public services.
The Passport Office, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority, the Ports and Habours Authority, and the Electricity Company of Ghana are some of the sectors digitised for efficient service delivery and lowering cost of doing business.
Others are the Ghana.Gov, Zipline Drones Medical Delivery Services, E-Pharmacy to network all hospitals and clinics in Ghana, and free wifi, provision of tablets and textbooks to senior high schools.
“We have succeeded in creating a conducive business climate that is spurring on the growth of the private sector,” the Vice-President said.