Rural development high on national agenda – Veep

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Ghana’s bid to ensure that the benefits of future growth reach more of its population is one of several issues explored by Mahamudu Bawumia, the country’s vice president, in a wide-ranging interview he gave to Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Bawumia, who is also chairman of Ghana’s Economic Management Team, told the global research and consultancy firm, that galvanising industrial activity outside of the country’s urban centres was high on the new administration’s agenda.

“Rural development is a major focus for the government and we have put together development authorities to try to accelerate this process,” he said. “There is a development authority for the north, for the middle belt and for the coastal region, with each one tasked to look at the specific needs of its coverage area and assign the necessary resources to improve its infrastructure.”

The full interview with Bawumia will appear in The Report: Ghana 2018, OBG’s forthcoming publication on the country’s economy.

Bawumia highlighted the key role that the government expects its ‘One District, One Factory’ initiative to play in driving growth across Ghana’s districts.

Announced in 2016, the project’s aims include stemming migration from rural areas to urban hubs by reducing the disparities between them and creating new jobs. A total of 51 districts have been identified for the launch of the programme, which will be implemented in a phased roll-out, beginning in June.

“We believe that in every district of the country there are resources and inputs available to do this,” the vice president told OBG.

In the interview, the vice president also discusses the issue of international aid, reaffirming the administration’s commitment to reducing Ghana’s reliance on donations. This, he said, would be done “…by encouraging increased trade and greater private sector participation.”

Other topics explored include the new administration’s plans for boosting FDI levels and fiscal consolidation, as it looks to meet targets for 2017 of 6.3% GDP growth, an overall fiscal deficit of 6.5% of GDP and a year-end inflation rate of 11.2%. 

The Report: Ghana 2018 will contain a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors, alongside contributions from leading personalities, including Nana Akufo-Addo, President; Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance; Ernest Adison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana; Yofi Grant, CEO of GIPC or Kais Marzouki, CEO of Nestle Central and West Africa. The report will be available in print and online.

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