Accra, March 6, GNA – President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday reiterated the need to add value to the country’s raw materials, which is key to industrialisation, prosperity and job creation.
“It is unacceptable that even though we produce in West Africa 65 per cent of cocoa beans in the world, we earn only between 3.5 per cent and six per cent of the final price of a chocolate bar,” President Akufo-Addo said at Ghana’s 61st Independence Day Parade at the Black Star Square in Accra.
“Value addition is, therefore, imperative if we are to maximise the potential to pursue resource-based industrialisation,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo said the country was part of the digital world and to be competitive, she needed to be a part of and take advantage of digitisation.
He noted that since assuming office last year, the Government had undertaken deliberate policy reforms to digitise Ghana to formalise the economy. He said the national identification and address system, the drivers licence and vehicle registration, the paperless operation at the ports, and inter-operability of payment systems in the financial sector were all geared towards modernising the economy.
The President said Ghanaians should begin to feel the difference when all those measures became operational later this year.
“I am looking forward, particularly, to the digitisation of the land registration process to help the mortgage market, and help release hundreds of billions of cedis to finance our development,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo noted that at its core, the poverty gap was a technology gap adding; “The mastery of technology is what at the end of the day separates developed from developing countries, or rich from poor countries. This is a gap we have to bridge.
“We are laying a strong foundation for an educated and skilled workforce of the future through the free Senior High School (SHS) programme, which this academic year enabled 90,000 additional young Ghanaians to enrol in SHS,” he said.
He said in truth, part of the country’s problem had been that government tried to do too much, far too much beyond its capacity.
He said key to attracting private sector investment was a conducive, business friendly and peaceful environment.
The Parade, which was on the theme: “Ghana Beyond Aid,” had President Mahammadu Buhari of Nigeria as the Special Guest of Honour.
On his part, President Buhari congratulated Ghana on her 61st Independence Anniversary and lauded President Akufo-Addo for his role in brokering peace in Togo by bringing all the warring factions to the negotiating table.
“I am appealing to all the opposition parties in Togo to please come together to resolve their differences so that Togo will move forward.
“It’s the same thing I wish Nigeria and Ghana to continue to provide the impetus in realising the objectives and ideals of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States to ensure security, peace and development of our region,” he said.