Accra, March 21, GNA- President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to building a self-reliant economy based on the proper management and utilisation of resources and not one dependent on aid.
“We want to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said this at a roundtable-meeting with some selected chief executive officers of leading African and international companies on the sidelines of the ongoing Fifth Edition of the Africa CEO’s Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Forum, which has attracted CEOs of the largest African and international companies, political decision makers from more than 40 African countries and investors on the continent, would offer banks and companies and Swiss financial institutions the opportunity for business ties within the African Continent.
President Akufo-Addo said the sentiment of the party, out of which his government was borne; “is instinctively to look for private sector solutions to the economic issues in our country. We are unashamedly the party of the private sector.”
He said in recent years the private sector had suffered major deficits such as poor access to credit, high interest rates, erratic power supply and a business climate that has not been conducive.
“We have started doing something about it. Our first budget outlines some fairly radical, new measures. A lot of the taxes that were brought up in the period where our deficit was growing have either been reduced or abolished. We have taken off as much as GH¢1 billion in taxes out of the revenue net for the doing of business in Ghana, with the commitment of doing more,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, who was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yofi Grant, reiterated the commitment of his government to reducing the fiscal deficit from nine per cent to six per cent this year, with further reductions next year.
Additionally; “we have decided that it is important to provide stimulus to the tune of US$100 million to local industries that are in distressed states and to assist new companies to grow in the country,” he said.
The revival and modernisation of Ghana’s agriculture, the President said, was also a major plank of his administration’s agenda of creating and providing jobs for the people.
The sector, he noted, is one area government is looking at to bring in investment.
With one percent of the country’s revenues dedicated to agriculture in the immediate past administration, President Akufo-Addo said his commitment was, at least, to match the four per cent of revenues allocated to the sector by the Kufuor-led NPP Government.
“If the country is to make any meaningful change in the lives of the people, our efforts must be directed at this sector. The majority of people can only feel a change in their lives when we develop agriculture,” he said.
He assured the CEOs that Ghana is open for business and would create a conducive business environment to ensure that their businesses flourish.