President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday called for a strong engagement between the public and private sectors, to address the negative effect of load shedding on local businesses and industries.
He said although the current load shedding programme was denying government some financial gains, more transformations were currently underway for both the public and private sectors to take advantage of.
President Mahama who made this call when he met members of the Private Sector Advisory Council at the Flagstaff House, Kanda, expressed concern about the effects of the power outages on small-scale businesses, with the assurance that government was working hard to grow it.
The first in a series of three meetings to be held this year, the Council discussed the current state of the economy, the energy crisis; reviewed some actions and policies of the last half year, and some of the new ones contained in the 2015 Budget.
Membership of the Council include the Ministries of Finance, Trade and Industry, the National Development Planning Commission, DANIDA, USAID, the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre, and the Ghana Export Promotion Authority.
The rest are the Association of Ghana Industries, the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, the Ghana Employers Association, the Ghana Chamber of Mines, DFID, and the Private Enterprise Federation.
President Mahama advocated collaboration between local businesses and their foreign partners, to set up production bases in the country, as a way of expanding Ghana’s export capacity.
The President indicated that government would, this year, support interventions that diversify exports, especially in the agricultural sector, to enhance exports through the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).
He said a task force on the Ghana EXIM Bank had been constituted, and coupled with the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, would engender solid institutions that would push forward the nation’s transformation agenda.
President Mahama said it was the government’s objective to develop a thriving sector that was productive and competitive, to transform the source of the country’s growth, and provide economic opportunities for all Ghanaians.
This, he said, was the reason behind the provision of direct financial support to certain segments of the private sector, such as the pharmaceutical industries, agro-businesses and the non-traditional export sector.
He acknowledged the challenges being faced in the implementation of the Private Sector Development Strategy, and also bureaucratic bottlenecks that confront the private sector.