Patience Gbeze, GNA
Accra, Nov. 30, GNA – Mr Mohammad Habibu Tijani, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has said there is the need for African countries to boost trade among themselves to enhance development.
He said this would ensure that the level of trade which is currently at 18 per cent would attain the level of 69 per cent as it occurs in Asia and Intra European trade.
Mr Tijani said this at the closing ceremony of the 2nd Stakeholders’ Conference in Accra.
The three-day conference, held under the theme, “Leveraging Economic Diplomacy for Ghana’s Industrialisation Agenda”, was organised by the Foreign Ministry in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Participants at the event included MDAs and the private sector and it was aimed at sharing information and best practices as well as challenges faced by key stakeholders of the Ghanaian economy and centred on Agenda 2063, SDGs, National Medium Term Development Policy Framework 2018-2021, and “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
Other thematic areas include macroeconomic framework, current economic trends and opportunities in Ghana and Africa, overview of Africa’s Regional Integration Agenda, continental free trade, boosting intra-African trade and trade facilitation, industrialization, productivity, competitiveness and value chains.
Mr Tijani said industrialization of African economies was crucial to turn around the fortunes of the continent and re-affirmed government’s commitment to improve the business environment and empower the private sector to play a critical role in the development of the country.
He said the Ministry is commitment to the President’s vision of a “Ghana Beyond Aid” and would continue to engage countries and international institutions for effective partnerships.
This, he said, would help the nation wean itself from the over-reliance on foreign imports.
“The Ministry will also continue to promote Ghana’s favourable investment climate through our Missions abroad in collaboration with our stakeholders to attract investors into the country. This we believe will go a long way to help the country to attain its aspirations,” he said.
He urged private sector players to take advantage of the government’s flagship programmes to establish industries that would add value to raw materials.
The Deputy Minister said:” Ghana’s development will be achieved on the back of different sectors of the economy by adding value to our agricultural products and natural resources”.
Dr Joseph Atta-Mensah, Principal Policy Advisor, Capacity Development Division, UN Economic Commission for Africa, said there is the need to empower women by giving them equal opportunities and access to rise beyond their status.
“…I will like to see one day that our Parliament would be made of 50 per cent women and we have at least a Vice President or a President who is a woman. It is about time we realise that women have tremendous roles to play in the economy and the governance of the country and we need to do all that we can to support women,” he said.
Dr Atta-Mensah said the youth are the leaders now and some of them have credible ideas that the country needs to tap into to build a strong economy for posterity.
He said the conference has placed the Ministry in a better position to sell the country and thereby attract good business.
“All these will not happen if we also do not change our mindset- let’s not always concentrate on the challenges that we face, but let’s concentrate more on our achievements and let’s celebrate because Ghana of the 80s is not Ghana of today, that means we have made some progress”, Dr Atta-Mensah said.