President Akufo Addo has challenged Chief Executive Officers of institutions in Ghana to ensure that they position their various organizations to play frontline roles on the African continent as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) policy kickstarts.
Addressing the first CEOs Executive Forum, a Public-Private Dialogue organized by the Ministry of Trade and Industry at the La Palm Beach Hotel, President Akufo Addo noted, “With AfCFTA covering a market of 1.2 billion people with a combined GDP of 3 billion United States dollars across the 54 member states of the African Union that have signed up to the agreement, it will serve as the vehicle for us [Ghana] to trade with other member states in a more modern and sophisticated manner.
“Empowered Ghanaian businesses and enterprises should be frontline actors in this new exciting journey in Africa’s economic history,” Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo added.
Interest Rate Reforms
As part of efforts by government to create a business-friendly environment in Ghana, President Akufo Addo said in his address to the captains of industry that he has requested the leadership of the Bank of Ghana to expedite action on addressing the high-interest rate challenge that clearly affects the private sector negatively as far as their competitiveness is concerned.
“I have requested the Governor to interrogate the issue of the interest rate in Ghana and how the problem could be addressed to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector,” President Akufo Addo stated.
In his welcome remarks, Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyeremanten said the government has decided to introduce the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) Mechanism to engage all Chief Executive Officers in Ghana to foster an all-year-round interaction that will ensure that government is listening to the ultimate decision-makers of corporate Ghana.
He noted that the new initiative is a build upon previous ones such as the Ghana Investors Advisory Council that was introduced during the Kufour Administration, the Private Enterprise Foundation which was introduced to create a body to present a single voice for the Private Sector, and the National Economic Forum which was created under the NDC administration.
The PPD Mechanism
To ensure that the PPD is successful, the Trade Minister indicated that PPD will be an all year round activity that will extend to other regions apart from Accra. Additionally, a coordinating mechanism in the form of a secretariat, the Trade Minister noted, has been established to facilitate the activities of the PPD Mechanism and process the outcome of all PPD engagements in order to feed same into policy interventions of Government.
As part of the event, there was an interactive session that allowed the CEOs to aggregate their concerns directly to the President and for that matter, government.