By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 5, GNA - Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Wednesday disclosed that government is exploring ways of using cassava flour to produce biodegradable plastic bags since it would help the country to deal with the current sanitation challenges.
He said an entrepreneur had already approached his outfit with a proposal and had given the assurance that, government would pursue the idea aggressively since it was in line with the government’s industrialization agenda.
He added that government was exploring avenues to re-establish a jute factory in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region since the Ghana Cocoa Board had been importing jute bags for bagging cocoa beans, noting that, the ones that would be manufactured locally, could be much cheaper than those imported.
Vice President Bawumia made the remarks when contributing to a panel discussion at this year’s Ghana Economic Forum held in Accra on the topic: “Building a competitive economy for sustainable growth”.
The two-day event served as a platform for captains of industry to debate on key issues affecting the Ghanaian economy and proffer innovative ideas to resolve them.
The Vice President noted that for the nation to move beyond aid, there was the need to produce and add value to her raw materials, and said the the Akufo-Addo-led government was gradually departing from the conventional approach to development and adopting new policies that would accelerate economic growth.
He cited the Infrastructure Barter Arrangement Government entered with the Sinohydro Corporation of China as a classic example, noting that, that arrangement was a novelty.
Under that arrangement, Government of Ghana would use her share of the refined bauxite to pay-off the cost of infrastructure that would be provided by the Sinohydro Corporation.
“We have to think about new paths and new ways of doing things and it’s really that thinking that is driving a lot of the things we’re doing.
“We have to think outside the box and avoid straight jacket approach to development because the conventional way of doing things has not help us for the past 60 years.
“We have to be thinking about things that would give us competitive advantage and produce them right here in Ghana,” Dr Bawumia added.
The Vice President noted that he deliberately took some financial technology companies (Fintech firms) to Silicon Village in the United States in order to expose them to how the advanced nations were leveraging on technology for development.
He announced that very soon a digital conference would be held before the end of the year to explore ways of using technology to accelerate economic development.
“For instance, in Liberia, you can file your tax returns online with a mobile app but the people who designed that app are Ghanaians…so we have the sharpest individuals and GRA can also use mobile app to enable us to file our taxes regardless of where we are because of mobile money interoperability payment system, ”Dr Bawumia pointed out.
He said the nation must institute the necessary measures to be self-independent in the production of poultry, adding that currently the nation had sufficient maize and wouldn’t import the cereal any longer.
Earlier in an address, Vice President Bawumia outlined some government policy interventions it had rolled out for the past 18 months and the impact they had made on the economy.
They included the National Digital Property Addressing System, Mobile Money Interoperability Payment System, Smart Drivers Licensing and Registration of Vehicles, Paperless Ports System, ongoing National Identification System, electronic registration of businesses, among others.