Ghana beyond Aid

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo has stressed government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for the growth of Ghanaian businesses.

He said, this would be achieved through a concerted efforts by all stakeholders to promote locally manufactured goods in line with the Government’s aim of taking “Ghana beyond Aid.”

Adding that, Government wants to find a way to get the local manufacturers, to improve on their market penetration and visibility, since most of them lacks the understand why they must spend money on proper packaging and so on, which would automatically impact their businesses positively.

“So in effect we are devising a means for Ghanaians to actually take what they have produced seriously for our companies to be able to thrive and be able to also employ more people on the streets,” Mr. Osafo Marfo said.

He was speaking at the opening of the maiden edition of Made-in-Ghana Street Fair in Accra on Saturday 16th December, 2017, at the Osu Oxford Street to create the awareness of the availability of quality Ghanaian products, as well as to promote Ghanaian goods and reduce the dependence on imported ones.

The two-day event from 16-17 December, 2017, which aimed to help and stimulate the demand for local products while ensuring quality and durability of Made-in-Ghana goods and services, as well as promote the adoption of high standards in the production, processing and distribution channel, was organized by the Ministry Trade and Industry in partnership with Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Mr. Osafo Marfo indicated that, GDP growth which declined from 14% in 2011 to end of 2016 at 3.6%, was estimated to grow at 7.8% in 2017. Saying, inflation has been trending downwards from 15.4% in December, 2016 to 11.6% in October, 2017, which is the lowest in four years since September, 2013.

He also revealed that, according to AGI Business Barometer, business conference has gone up to 109.3 in the second quarter of 2017 as against 101.6 in the last quarter of 2016.

Saying Fitch, an international rating agency in 2017 revised Ghana’s outlook on credit rating from negative to stable, whilst Standard and Poor’s has also revised it from stable to positive.

“I do hope all these improvements in our economic outlook are impacting on your businesses since that is the aim of government,” Mr. Osafo Marfo noted.

Meanwhile, he stated the Fair, with side attractions including music festival, cultural show, outdoor events and a float, seeks to make Made-In-Ghana products the desired choice for majority of consumers in the country, expecting to draw more than 600 exhibitors and also to attract more than 50,000 patrons.

Vendor categories such as handicrafts and gifts, food beverages, furniture and fittings, home supplies, textiles and garments, financial services, beauty and cosmetics, computers and electronics, transport and machinery, printing and publishing, pharmaceuticals, cleaning and toiletries were showcased.

Mr. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, on his part, noted that the idea of the fair was to promote hidden talents from the hamlets, expose them, bring their products and inventions to the limelight and assist with value addition.

“This we believe will help unearth talents and assist government to explore the districts and enhance its one district one factory initiative,” he said.
The government he said, is making all efforts to promote the one district one factory initiative, by not losing sight of any of the smaller businesses in the districts, which also have the potential to become bigger industries.

He however urged Ghanaians to patronise made in Ghana goods, saying, “Going forward we want to brand Ghana, we want to make Ghana a premium and we want to have that name, which if people pick, they will say yes this is what I want.”

By:Sammy Adjei/Newsghana.com.gh

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