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Apr 28, 2011

New Industrial Policy for Ghana – Trade Minister


The Minister for Trade and Industry, Hannah Tetteh, at the fourth dialogue series of the National Policy Fair has said the dialogue session on the topic “Assessing Ghana’s Path to industrialization – Governments Intervention So Far” is critical to understanding Ghana’s path to economic development.

Recounting past interventions by the public sector aimed at re-aligning the economy of Ghana, she noted that the major setback to achieving the intended objectives lacked consistency and a coordinated effort in implementation of economic recovery programs.

For instance, the Minister lamented the absence of a comprehensive document that articulated its vision for the industrial sector, while the elements for good industrial development framework existed in various documents like Ghana poverty reduction strategy and vision 2020.

Touching on the present, she said a new industrial policy that provides clear guidelines for growth in the industrial has been approved by cabinet. This is within the context of “Ghana shared Growth and Development Agenda”, the implementing wing she said is currently being finalised, both implementing wing and policy will be launched next month, she added.

Her Ministry, she indicated, intends to present to cabinet and Parliament as well an Industrial competitiveness Bill, which seeks to provide incentives for promoting the processing of local resources into finished products. She further reaffirmed government’s commitment in working with the private sector and other stakeholders as partners in development.

The Vice President of the Ghana Association of Industrialists, Dr. George Dawson Amoah, reiterated his association’s commitment in partnering government in achieving high levels of industrialization in Ghana.

He bemoaned the lack of collaboration between his association and government in the past. He however said they had taken the initiative in 2008 to address the situation by forming a coalition of Ghana Employers Association, Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry to monitor the extent to which government policy statements in National Policy Budgets are implemented.

He was happy to report that they are happy with the level of cooperation with the budget implementation team. He however called for an improved feedback between government and the citizenry.

A renowned Ghanaian administrator, Professor Stephen Adei, expressed optimism at Ghana’s efforts at attaining economic emancipation. He noted that the increased effort at converging public policy for industrialization is a positive sign for progress.

Also he envisaged the availability of funds in the very near future for the expansion of Ghana’s existing road networks is another sign for industrialization.

He however bemoaned the quality of service delivery in the public sector and called on civil society to insist on their rights as an antidote to the negative trend. He noted that no country could achieve any appreciable level of development with public sector that is laid back.

Prof. Adei suggested that government create an enabling environment for small manufacturing concerns by relieving of taxes. He also called for a calculated policy of government deliberately investing in areas of competitive advantage.

He also called on government to come out with a policy that will select niche industrial concerns and assist them into international conglomerates. He spoke passionately on the need for government to come out with a strategy on monetary policy that will be in line with long-term policy objectives, he complained about high interest rates which he said were unrealistic and could not be justified

Source: ISD (Faith Junko Ogawa)