President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday stated that his Government is not in competition with the private sector, and would not substitute itself for the private sector in the growth and development of Ghana.
He was speaking as a panellist on: “Championing Investments: Presidential Investment Chats,” at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum organized by the African Development Bank in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The role of government, in our view, is to be a facilitator for the development of the private sector, and that has been the focus of our government,” he said.
The President told the gathering that the modest socio-economic gains made by his government over the past 22 months found its footing in the raft of policies that provided incentives necessary for the growth of the private sector, as well as the adherence to the rule of law, which applied to both Ghanaians and foreigners.
Ghana’s economic growth rate increased from 3.6 per cent in 2016 to 8.5 per cent in 2017, owing to policies including several tax cuts, abolishing of nuisance taxes, and reduction in utility tariffs, which has seen electricity tariffs for businesses reduced by as much as 30 per cent and water tariffs reduced by 10 per cent.
The Government, President Akufo-Addo said, had also focused on the promotion of policies that were stimulating industrial and agricultural activity.
Also, the Government is developing strategic industries out of Ghana’s abundant natural resources of bauxite and iron ore and has established an Integrated Bauxite/Aluminium Development Authority to assemble the relevant financial resources for the full exploitation and development of the large bauxite deposits.
The President told the gathering about the Government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs” Policy that had supported some 200,000 smallholder farmers with inputs such as fertilizers, access to extension officers, improved seedlings and a marketing platform, in its first year of implementation.
“This year, the programme has moved from 200,000 to 500,000 and the impact it has made in terms of yields of agriculture, i.e. the productivity of our farmers, as well as on its output is quite dramatic. We are seeing a much greater output of food stuffs in our markets across the country than we saw three or four years ago.
“That is the connection we are trying to make to see how we can bring whatever authority that government has to support these initiatives with appropriate policy. Our goal is that, within four years, a million farmers will be in this programme,” he said.