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Minister commends private sector for contribution to economy

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President Akufo-Addo (middle) with Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo (right), Special Adviser to the President, and Mr Alan Kyerematen (left), Minister of Trade and Industry, at the event

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has commended the private sector for the critical role it is playing in the economic and transformational agenda of the country, especially in the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to him, the private sector had proved to be the engine of the economy, not only in words but also in actions, through its resilience and ingenuity.

“When the COVID-19 struck and there were serious disruptions in the global supply chain, it was the private sector that quickly marshalled its forces to cushion the impact of the pandemic by producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and drugs to help contain the spread of the virus,” he added.

Mr Kyerematen made the commendation when he addressed the inaugural Presidential Business Summit, an initiative being coordinated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in collaboration with the Office of the President, selected ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Objective

The summit is aimed at providing a platform for structured dialogue between the government and the private sector on critical areas of mutual interest.

It will be held annually as part of the government’s public-private dialogue (PPD) framework to help improve the business environment by developing an actionable business compact with a clear commitment between the government and the private sector.

This year’s event, which was opened by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was on the theme: “Public-private dialogue on the role of the private sector in Ghana’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery”.

Participants included ministers of state, heads of public and private sector institutions, captains of industry, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the diplomatic community.

Discussions focused on five thematic areas — Fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to support production and private sector development; foreign exchange regulation and currency stability; access to finance and cost of capital and energy-pricing, availability, accessibility and reliability.

The breakout sessions also touched on agriculture and agribusiness, manufacturing, construction and mining, as well as financial services, information and communications technology, and transport and logistics.

Support

Mr Kyerematen said considering the important role being played by the private sector, the government would support players in the sector, especially those in manufacturing, to enable the country to become the production hub in Africa.

“It is a fact that the role of the private sector in national development cannot be underestimated. It is a well-established fact in development history that the most powerful economies in the world are those that maintain a strong focus on private sector development,” he said.

According to the minister, a well-performing private sector would increase the government’s tax mobilisation effort, create jobs for the teeming youth and also propel the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda.

“In the same vein, since there is cost associated with incentivising the private sector, the government expects the private sector to fulfil its obligations by paying taxes as part of its contribution to national development,” he said.

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Private sector has capacity to absorb youth job seekers – Oppong Nkrumah

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Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has reiterated that the private sector has the capacity to absorb the country’s teeming youth seeking for job opportunities.

According to him, even though a vibrant public sector can provide some number of employments, the main purpose of the government is to create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to flourish in the private sector.

He argued that even the most efficient public service cannot be a substitute for the role that the private sector and entrepreneurship play in helping answer the questions of economic fortunes as a nation.

“Orienting our people, that it lies within our own hands to innovate, develop technologies and solutions that make our society better off, as against waiting for an expansion of the public sector to accommodate all our interests, is a challenge which however we have not met very well as a nation.

If entrepreneurship, private business, innovation and technology is what will be a most significant pillar in economic recovery, then our best energies, our best attention, must be directed there,” Mr. Nkrumah made this remark at the opening ceremony of Day-2 of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF) in Accra organized by the B&FT.

He explained that entrepreneurship is the most significant instrument that can get the majority of the people, particularly the young, economically engaged and rewarded, thereby, calling for a renewal of the mindset and encouraging the youth to venture into it and take advantage of the good policies initiated by the government.

The information minister further said that entrepreneurship, when taken seriously, will enable the country build its own products and services, thereby, increasing exports to improve the balance of payment position of the economy.

Making some recommendations, Mr. Nkrumah said the conversations around entrepreneurship, its prospects, resolving its bottlenecks and highlighting its rewards must be mainstreamed as one of the most important conversations in this country.

He advised that public conversations on traditional media, digital media and all other platforms must reflect what citizens believe is the most important value driver for economic transformation.

“We cannot spend all our times discussing allegations and suspicions of one another. We cannot spend all our time comparing pastors, debating partisan political positions, and for the younger ones, we cannot spend all our time amplifying social media beefs and expect that entrepreneurship will gain its pride of place”.

He added that to stem entrepreneurship in the minds of the youth, the education system should include entrepreneurship in the curricular of every level of schooling.

“My point is that whatever we choose to include in academic curricular, one field of academic work which I believe should now be taught across all levels of education as a core subject just like literacy, numeracy and science, is entrepreneurship. So that no matter what else a Ghanaian child has studied, he / she is also equipped with the basic orientation to use that technical knowledge even in building on their own, a business out of it,” he said.

Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, however, stressed the need for government to step up its efforts in promoting entrepreneurship, despite programmes that are already in existence to achieve the purpose.

“I believe we all can agree that looking at the enormity of the challenge ahead, we need to quadruple our efforts as a country at the minimum. We need to provide avenues for more technical support, patient capital and paradigm orientation if truly we want to see more young people take up entrepreneurship. Government policy, must be bolder and larger and more focused in support of growing entrepreneurship in Ghana and indeed across the continent,” he said.

Source: thebftonline.com

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Government to re-examine entry points of market centres for more accessibility – Akufo-Addo

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Government has said it plans to re-examine entry points to market centres in order to make them accessible to all and especially fire officers.

According to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, this has become necessary to avert the destruction of property and livelihoods in case of fire outbreak which has often made it difficult for fire tenders to gain access and douse the fire.

“I am really saddened by the fire incident that destroyed your market. When tragedy occurs, we take steps to rectify it and prevent its reoccurrence. I understand the Ghana National Fire Service had difficulties in accessing the market so we will take a look at all the entry points to markets in the country so this does not repeat itself.”

The president said this while addressing a gathering of affected traders at the Akim Oda Central Market as part of his just-ended tour of the Eastern Region.

He assured that government will take all the appropriate steps to avert future fire occurrences in market centres and support the affected traders through the Ghana Enterprise Agency and MASLOC.

“The government will support all traders who were affected by the fire incident. You will receive support from the Ghana Enterprise Agency and MASLOC to help you recover quickly,” Akufo-Addo said.

Meanwhile, on Monday September 13, 2021 parts of the Akim Oda Central Market were gutted by a fire incident. This led to the loss of property worth thousands of cedis belonging to traders.

Though fire officers were called to the scene, there were unable to gain entry into the market due to the access points and nature of the market.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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BOG to stop circulating GHc1 and GHc2 cedi notes

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The Bank of Ghana is withdrawing the GH¢1 and GH¢2 notes from circulation and leave their respective coins for use.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) yesterday, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison said “both the GHC1 note and the GHC2 note would eventually be phased out because they are not cost-effective in terms of the printing cost.”

“These are notes that circulate very widely, and they come back very torn and soiled and they are very difficult for our currency processing machines to process,” he said.

The Governor said “We have bales and bales of GH¢1 notes that we are not able to process. So the view for the longer term is to more or less get out of the GH¢1 and GH¢2 notes and use the GH¢1 and GH¢2 coins.”

Dr. Addison also said “You will recall that this is a note [GHC2] that was issued as a commemorative note … Commemorative notes are not notes that you continue to print.”

“And, therefore, what we have done in the last two years is to introduce the GH¢2 coin. You would expect that, eventually, it would more or less play the role that the GH¢2 note is playing.”

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