President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday disclosed that the nation lost $680 million in 2014 alone equivalent to two per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as revealed by the Institute for Social Statistics and Economic Research (ISSER).
He said the four years of power crisis led to a loss of more than three billion dollars in economic activities and in the process thousands of Ghanaians lost their jobs.
He said the debilitating power crisis brought many small and medium-scale enterprises to their knees, which was induced by the mismanagement of the energy sector by the previous government.
President Akufo-Addo made this known at the opening of the Second Edition of the National Policy Summit, in Accra, on the theme: ‘‘The Industrial Transformation of Ghana’’.
Regrettably, he said, the industrial sector suffered one of the significant setbacks in the history of Ghana over the period.
The President said in 2008, the New Patriotic Party government under President John Agyekum Kufuor achieved an industrial growth of 15.1 per cent but slumped to 0.8 per cent in 2014.
In addition, he said in 2015, the industrial sector recorded a negative 0.3 per cent and further down to negative 1.4 per cent in 2016, whilst the manufacturing sector recorded negative growth of -2 per cent in 2015.
He noted that the government recognised the role of macro-economic stability as very necessary in management of the economy but not sufficient condition for economic transformation.
To this end, he said government had outlined a 10-point agenda to transform the industrial sector of the economy that would create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youth and ensure prosperity for all Ghanaians.
The government’s agenda for economic growth and job creation was underpinned by programme of rapid and aggressive industrialisation and value addition, especially in agro-processing and vibrant manufacturing, he added.
The President mentioned the industrial agenda programmes, which were anchored on the following areas as; building competitive businesses of existing local industries by facilitating access to medium and long term financing at low interest rate and implementing the One District, One Factory initiative designed to bring industrialisation to the doorsteps of the people.
Others include; introducing strategic anchor industrial initiatives to create new growth poles for the Ghanaian economy, establishment of industrial parks and special economic zones in at least one of the ten regions (One Region, One Park) and promoting small and medium-scale enterprise development and establishment of an industrial sub-contracting expo that would link a certain need of supply chain of large-scale enterprises.
The rest are; promoting export diversification with particular emphasis on non-traditional exports, improving domestic retail trade and promoting domestically manufactured goods (i.e Made in Ghana goods), enhancing the business enabling environment to regulate businesses to perform and promote public-private sector dialogue as institutionalise process for consultation.
The President observed that these policy initiatives and programmes would be complemented by other policy interventions across government to leverage optimal support for the development of the private sector.
He said these policy initiatives had been crafted after extensive consultations and engagements with the private sector and others players and, thus solicited the unflinching support of all Ghanaians, particularly the private sector to ensure a successful implementation.
He assured the business community and all stakeholders of his personal commitment to ensure the successful implementation of the initiatives that would be one of the significant contributions of his government to the transformation of the national economy.
President Akufo-Addo noted that these policy frameworks was in line with the New Patriotic Party’s campaign promises made during the electioneering in 2016 that would help businesses to expand and create jobs and promote the growth of entrepreneurship particularly the youth.
“It is against this background that in the 2017 Asempa Budget we introduced a number of far reaching reforms designed to reduce the cost of doing business for the private sector and shift government economic policy away from a fixation of taxation to emphasis on production,” he emphasised.
Amongst other measures, he said, was the announcement of tax-cuts amounting to over one billion cedis in this year’s budget, which was read to Parliament by the Finance Minister in March.
The platform was created to inform Ghanaians on government strategies to revamp the economy for sustained growth and national prosperity.
The event brought together captains of industry, members of Parliament, the diplomatic community, entrepreneurs, traditional rulers, youth groups and a cross section of Ghanaians.