President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Ghana’s decision to move away from democratic uncertainties in the past 29 years that clouded its path towards progress and prosperity, had made it become a country full of “unquestionably attractive opportunities.”
Delivering a statement on “Ghana Day” at the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 on Tuesday, President Akufo-Addo said, “Our engagement at the Expo is themed on Opportunity because we are a nation of unquestionably attractive opportunities.”
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana is the safest country in West Africa, the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa and ranked 3rd in the Ease of Doing Business Index in West Africa.
“We are the new commercial capital of Africa by virtue of our hosting of the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), we are the 2nd largest cocoa producer in the world,” he stated.
Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said, is the largest producer of gold in Africa, endowed with considerable deposits of bauxite, iron ore, manganese, lithium, oil and gas, diamonds, and timber, and “geographically closer than any other country to the centre of the planet.”
The President touted Ghana’s investment-friendly environment where he assured investments are secure and protected under a governance system where an independent judiciary upholds the rule of law and respect for private property rights.
President Akufo-Addo said Ghana was “Ready for Business”, and that the government was determined to build a business-friendly economy that would enable the country to efficiently exploit its opportunities to allow it to build an optimistic, self-confident and prosperous nation.
Before the onset of COVID-19, Ghana, in 2017, 2018 and 2019 had recorded annual average GDP growth rates of 7 per cent making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world at the time.
“At the height of the pandemic, in 2020, we were, indeed, one of the few countries to record positive growth,” he said.
Through the implementation process of the GH¢100 billion economic recovery programme, dubbed the Ghana CARES ‘Obaatampa’ Programme, the economy grew at a provisional rate of 5.2% in the first three quarters of 2021, with a projected growth rate of 5.6% for 2021.
“We appear to be on the path of sustained economic recovery. We still, nevertheless, have some important challenges, but we see these challenges as opportunities that serve as catalysts for growth and the realisation of the government’s transformational agenda.
That agenda, President Akufo-Addo said, was hinged on creating space for the private sector to thrive, thereby growing the jobs that young people need.
The President said policies such as 1-District-1-Factory and the development of strategic anchor industries—emerging automotive industry and the coordinated exploitation of significant bauxite and iron ore deposits, the Planting for Food and Jobs, targeted infrastructural development, especially of roads and railways, and promoting access to digital technology are serving as the main avenues for job creation.
“We have been successful at removing some of the constraints of Ghanaian life, that have been sources of frustration in conducting business. As part of the process of formalising the economy, we have, amongst others, implemented a digital property addressing system, issued biometric national identification cards to residents this year, so that every resident will have a unique identification number, and ensured paperless transactions at our ports,” he added.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD