…With Skilled Labour Force – Prez. Assures CEO’s
By Frank Amponsah
The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government is taking steps to build a skilled workforce which takes full advantage of the digital revolution in order to help change the structure of the economy, and industrialise to improve the living standards of people.
He said by so doing, the country will be able to transform and be able to add value to its natural resources.
According to President Akufo-Addo, businesses, factories and enterprises need to flourish, and when that happens, Ghana will flourish.
He was addressing the 3rd Ghana CEO Summit in Accra on the theme, “Leadership, Innovation and Investment for Business and Economic Transformation.”
He pointed out that the theme for the Summit embodies his government’s focus over the last 16 months; which canters on Free SHS Policy, Ghana Beyond Aid among others.
The President averred that the Free SHS policy, and the scaling up of technical, vocational and education training to supply the skills needed to build a modern economy is indicative of how government intends to build a modern, diversified and transformed economy.
According to him government has taken steps to rationalise the institutional framework for TVET education.
“The Ministry of Education is now responsible for all TVET activities. The curricula of these institutions are in the process of undergoing rapid reform to make them more relevant to the world of work today, and more emphasis is going to be given to TVET education within our educational structure. This is how government is going to assist in producing the skilled labour you need to develop your businesses,” he said.
He also assured business leaders that he and his government need them to run their businesses well so that they grow and flourish and when that happens, the economy as a whole will grow and flourish.
He maintained that government has every interest in the growth of businesses whereby they will make legitimate money, and contribute to the growth of the national economy.
“I have no reservations whatsoever about promoting the success of our entrepreneurs as something vital to the development of our country. Ghana would be a much better place when we have lots of wealthy people. They help grow our economy, their investments help create jobs, and their contribution to taxes strengthens the public sector’s ability to finance its development.”
He said: “When we took over the reins of government some sixteen months ago, we set to work to start creating the atmosphere that would make life easier for businesses to operate. We have reduced taxes, we are bringing down inflation and interest rates, economic growth is increasing, from 3.6% at December 2016, the lowest in two decades, to 8.5% in our first year, and the indications are that we could be the fastest growing economy in the world this year.”
He also mentioned that government has increased international reserves, maintained relative exchange rate stability, reduced the debt to GDP ratio, and the rate of debt accumulation, and paid almost half of the arrears we inherited from the predecessor government.
He explained also that the macroeconomic fundamentals are becoming stronger, and all the critical indices are pointing in the right direction.
President Akufo-Addo called for an increasing financial literacy that will make more people realise that budget deficits, inflation and interest rates should be of interest to the whole nation as, they affect everyday lives.
Commenting on Ghana Beyond Aid, the president said the slogan was meant to inspire us to action and that Ghana Beyond Aid must surely find fertile ground among businesses.
He averred that “Ghana Beyond Aid will require that we do things differently. It will demand of us new approaches to governance and, above all, a paradigm shift in the financing of our development. That means a combination of effective and efficient taxation and tax collection. We must deepen the payment of taxes, and broaden the tax net to include the informal sector in the payment of appropriate taxes.”
The President also expressed worry at recent events in the banking scene. According to him, the Bank of Ghana is tightening up its regulatory and oversight activities on banks, especially in the areas of lending and other risky endeavours; which he commended so much. He stressed that Ghana cannot afford instability or recklessness in the banking and financial sectors since any loss of confidence in the banks is bound to have a ripple effect on the stability of the economy as a whole.
This model of “One District One Factory” is a necessity of our time, and a key strategy towards the eradication of poverty and the creation of employment around the country. I urge you to take advantage of the various incentives that have been put in place, and help make a success of the programme.
Good corporate governance, he said, must become the norm businesses and corporate leaders must be able to withstand scrutiny in all aspects of their lives. Good corporate governance is absolutely essential for the healthy development of our economy.