The President of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Nana Dankawoso, interacting with President Akufo-Addo, with the Chamber Businessman of the Year, Issa Ouedraogo, looking on
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed that his administration is determined to exploit the strategic resources the country has in bauxite and iron ore deposits.
“To this end, an Integrated Bauxite and Aluminium Development Authority is to be established by law, in this meeting of Parliament, to spearhead the exploitation along the full value chain of our consumable bauxite resources,” he said.
According to the president, the exploitation of the country’s bauxite and iron ore deposits “will give a considerable fillip to our industrial development, as will also be the case for the exploitation of our iron ore deposits.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Saturday, when he delivered a speech at the maiden edition of the Chamber Business Awards of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, held at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra.
Reiterating the government’s commitment to pursuing an aggressive industrial transformation agenda with strong emphasis on private sector participation, the president stated, “It is absolutely vital that we transform the structure of our economy from being dependent on the production and exportation of raw materials to an industrialised, value-added one.”
Touching on the several elements to the Agenda of Industrial Transformation, he stated that the government had put in place a stimulus package to revive financially distressed, but economically viable businesses, adding that over 80 companies had been selected for the package.
Under the government’s ‘1 District,1-Factory’ initiative, President Akufo-Addo revealed that over 190 business proposals (and counting), had been selected under this programme, which is aimed at creating jobs and prosperity for the Ghanaian people.
“The 2018 Budget has allocated funding, as government’s contribution either as equity or in-kind support, for the establishment of district enterprises. GCB Bank has pledged an amount of two billion Ghana cedis towards the ‘One District, One Factory’ project at the Industrial Forum in May this year, organized by the Chamber,” he added.
The president continued, “An additional amount of $340 million has been leveraged from local financial institutions for the programme. This is the kind of leadership and collaboration that is required collectively to build ‘Ghana Beyond Aid;’ and I encourage business people to take advantage of these opportunities that have been created by government.”
To members of the business community, President Akufo-Addo assured that his government is fully committed to transforming Ghana’s economy, and leading the country into the new digital age.
He stated that it is for this reason that his administration had introduced the e-business registration, paperless port clearance, digital addressing, mobile interoperability and the national identification systems, to ease the cost of doing business in the country, and generate greater efficiency.
He also assured, “As we go online, there are legitimate concerns about cyberspace threats, and I wish to underline government’s efforts and commitment to secure our cyberspace.”
Having established the National Cyber Security Secretariat to implement Ghana’s National Cyber Security Policy and Strategy, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that he had also signed the African Union Treaty on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection, stressing that “all these measures are being put in place to secure the country’s cyberspace and protect personal and business data.”
He noted that the success or otherwise of his administration would be judged largely on his government’s record of job creation.
“It is for this reason that my government supports initiatives that will unleash the energies of business people, and stimulate the entrepreneurial potential of the Ghanaian. My view is clear. It is the private sector that can create the needed job opportunities for the people of our country, and I am confident that the Ghanaian private sector will rise to the challenge,” he said.