Value addition to natural resources will bolster intra-Africa trade – Minister

Mr Mohammad Habibu Tijani, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has underscored the need for Ghana and other African countries to add value to their natural resources.

That move, he said, would translate into industrialisation-led growth, bolster intra-Africa trade, and engender socio-economic development on the Continent.

Mr Tijani made the remarks at the opening of a five-day macro-economic policy dialogue for Chief Directors, Policy Advisors and other heads of the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Accra, on Monday.

The dialogue, jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, is intended to fashion out effective strategies and policies, as well as build synergies to support the promotion of rapid inclusive economic growth of the country.

Mr Tijani said the platform would provide them the opportunity to brainstorm on strategic and sustainable policies that would accelerate the socio-economic development of the nation.

He said lessons that would be learnt at the dialogue would be employed in the execution of the government flagship programmes for the betterment of the nation.

Mr Tijani said better appreciation of issues was critical to government’s ambition of fulfilling its objectives such as wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction.

The Deputy Minister underlined the need for all stakeholders to urgently tackle the high rate of unemployment in the country, adding that, it would require the collaborative efforts of the Chief Directors so that “building Ghana beyond Aid” would become a reality.

”With your committed assistance towards government’s initiatives of reducing unemployment, poverty and achieving social inclusion such as the “one-district ,one-factory”, ”planting for food and jobs” ,”free high school policy”, among others, would be achieved successfully,” Mr Tijani said.

He advocated for structural transformation, financing of the African Union, industrialisation and economic growth, as well as continental free trade and international trade negotiations.

Nana Kwesi Agyekum Dwamena, the Head of the Civil Service, on his part, said the MDAs were responsible for implementation government’s policies and programmes, as well as coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of those programmes.

He said it was imperative to ensure harmonisation and explore all the necessary synergies to achieve government’s objectives of enhancing the lots of Ghanaians.

Nana Dwamena expressed optimism that the dialogue would improve knowledge and sharpen their skills to deliver their constitutional mandate effectively and efficiently.

Source: GNA

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