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Ghana to half poverty by 2015

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Ghana is almost certain to attain the Millennium Development Goals and halving poverty by 2015, Mr Mathew Johnson, Acting British High Commissioner said on Thursday.

Mr Johnson who said this at the launch of the new product innovation under the Africa Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Programme (AKTP) added that Ghana’s economic growth was sustainable.

The event was organised on the theme: “Books and Cogs: Knowledge and Industrial Synthesis for Transformational Growth,” by the British Council in collaboration with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).

The programme adopted four local industries and scientific research institutions who collaborated with each other to develop skills to solve their production problems for a three- year period.

“Ghana is an Africa success story. It is as simple as that,” Mr Johnson said, adding after two decades of political stability and solid economic growth, Ghana experienced a sustained economic growth between 4 to 6 per cent since 1990.

Mr Johnson whose speech was read on his behalf said the International Monetary Fund had estimated that after the spike of 13 per cent growth in 2011 as the benefit of oil production start to be felt across the economy, growth would be maintained at about 6 per cent in the medium term.

“Inflation once a source of instability undermining higher growth has stabilised since 2009 to single digit levels,” he said stressing that “a recent rebasing exercise shifted Ghana’s economy 70 per cent higher than previously estimated”.

“On paper Ghana has achieved Middle Income Status,” he said and indicated that the World Bank 2011 ‘Doing Business’ survey highlighted Ghana as a global top performer, improving access to credit and remaining the overall the easiest place to do business in West Africa.

“The combination of context and opportunities makes Ghana an increasingly favourable destination for investment,” he said.

Mr Johnson said: “This is why the United Kingdom government has set itself the target of doubling the value of its bilateral trade with Ghana by 2015,” and added that the UK is already Ghana’s biggest foreign investor by value and the UK being Ghana’s fourth largest trading partner.

He noted that the UK Trade and Investment team had a role in promoting the economic growth in Ghana.

Mr Johnson said the British Council would help to ensure that Ghanaians had the skills needed to compete at the work place and to drive the level of ambition for growth.

He noted that the council would also create a culture of entrepreneurship that would allow Ghana to take advantage of the up-swing in the global economy and to diversify the economy beyond its strong central pillars around commodity and agriculture.

Mr Moses Anibaba, Director of the British Council Ghana said his outfit would work with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Science and Technology, The World Bank and other relevant bodies to raise awareness and to scale up the AKTP programme.

He said the British Council had spent more than one million pounds on the programme in six countries in the Sub Saharan Africa.

There was an exhibition in which the beneficiary companies showcased their products.

Prizes were given to users of the products and research institutions.

The beneficiary companies and the research institutions include Nkulenu Industries and Food Research Institute, Ekem Art Pottery and Institute of Industrial Research, Biodiesel 1 Ghana Limited and Department of Crop Science University of Ghana, Apaak Traditional Medicines and Noguchi Memorial Institute of medical Research.

Other countries where the project is piloted are Nigeria, Uganda Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda with Ghana adjudged as the most successful.

Source: GNA

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