President Mahama wants private sector to lead next phase of Ghana’s transformation

President John Mahama

Ghana’s President John Mahama wants to see the private sector drive the next phase of the country’s transformation with active participation of the government.

According to the President, Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP) is currently about GH¢70 billion, from a low value of GH¢30 billion and GH¢36 billion recorded in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Making his presentation at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Encounter yesterday October 18, 2012, Mr Mahama said there has been a sign that the country’s economy is growing by “leaps and bounds”.

“The fact remains that Ghana is rated among one of the fastest growing economies in the World! We have recorded the most sustained single digit inflation level in Ghana’s history,” he said.

“We have achieved one million metric tonnes of cocoa production in a year, and have paid the highest percentage of FOB price in Ghana’s history. We have improved cotton production over tenfold and, through the SADA vehicle, have established a Shea butter processing factory at Buipe, an oil mill in Tamale and a rice processing plant at Nyankpala,”  Mahama added.

Under the NDC government, Mr Mahama noted that the Single Spine Pay policy has raised the public sector wage bill from GH¢2 billion to over GH25 billion.

“This phase,” Mahama added, has been largely led by government.

“The next phase of transformation must be led by the private sector with government’s active participation. The private sector is the area of my utmost passion,” Mahama told the IEA gathering.

“It is my firm belief that the Ghanaian private sector has what it takes to lead the next phase of our development. And that process must not be obstructed by politics,” he said.

According to the President, the government will establish monitoring mechanisms to ensure local content and give priority to Ghanaians in job opportunities and procurement practices.

The government’s own procurement processes will be made to set an example of local content preferences, he added.

Mahama stated: “We will engage with investors to set and monitor targets for achieving the increasing levels of Ghanaian participation.”

The Private Sector Advisory Council, which the he inaugurated in September 2012, will serve as the apex body to coordinate all strategic decisions affecting private sector development, he said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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