President Akufo-Addo interacting with Morten Fade (left), Managing Director, Ghacem Cement, at a Presidential Ball in Accra. Looking on is 1st Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo
President Akufo-Addo is convinced that the path he and his eight-month-old government are leading the country on is the best.
After eight months of being in office, he noted, “So far we are proving by our actions, by the policies and programmes implemented that the primacy of the private sector in the development of our national economy is fundamental for us in the new government.”
Speaking at a dinner ball organized by GHACEM as part of activities to mark its 50th anniversary celebration over the weekend, the president indicated, “So far, we have set about putting in place the measures needed to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment.”
That aside, he said, “We’ve begun to act on the fundamentals of our economy, resulting in the growing stability of the macro economy and the currency, a reduction in inflation and interest rate and the abolishing of nuisance taxes, which aims at shifting the focus of the economy from an emphasis on taxation to an emphasis on production.”
All these measures, according to him, “have been undertaken to stimulate enterprise activity and growth,” adding, “I’m confident that very soon we will reap the benefits of an expanding economy and thus of more jobs.”
President Akufo-Addo therefore stressed his government’s commitment to ensuring that companies like GHACEM succeed. “Cement forms the backbone of infrastructural development, as it contributes to about a quarter of Ghana’s GDP.”
“The consumption of cement,” the president noted, “is guaranteed to increase by weeks and months as we deal with growing urbanization, the huge deficit in our housing needs and the anticipated rise in government and private sector infrastructure projects. The continued expansion of local manufacture of cement will help create jobs and reduce the drain on our foreign exchange reserves from having to import cement.”
“In the meantime,” he disclosed, “government is considering a transition of the use of concrete for the construction of more durable roads in Ghana.”
That, he said, means “we will need even more cement than before and therefore stressed the need for GHACEM to expand its facilities and production capabilities to take advantage of the opportunity.
“I want GHACEM to be assured of Ghana’s full support over the next 50 years,” he said to a round of applause.
“Ghana will continue to partner with you so you live up to your mantra of being ‘the nation builder.’ GHACEM’s success is Ghana’s success.”
President Akufo-Addo seized the opportunity to celebrate one-time client when he (Akufo-Addo) was actively practising law.
The client, the late J.A Addison, was the founder of GHACEM, whose widow, Francesca, was at the event.
Nana Addo described him as a remarkable man and great industrialist.
“I know how much you would have loved to be here this evening with us, and you would have indeed been the life and soul of this party. May he rest in perfect peace and know that the great company he put so much of his extraordinary energies in helping build, continues to prosper. May it long continue so to do,” he said.
Managing Director of GHACEM, Morten Gade, spoke highly of the company’s achievements as the leading cement manufacturer in the country, having produced more than 30 million tonnes of what he described as quality cement over the last 50 years.
For him, that marked a significant turning point in the company’s history.
With increased competition and more players coming into the market, Mr Gade stressed the need for GHACEM to deepen its market leadership position by supplying innovative, high quality, cost-effective and environmentally friendly cement products at affordable prices and its customer service should be second to none.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent