Over 70 green houses built under green business initiatives

The government, under the Green Business Initiative, has built 75 Green Houses (Domes) to train young entrepreneurs in Agri-business at Dawhenya in the Greater Accra Region.

Over 700 young graduates have been engaged under the initiative.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, on Monday, said the private sector and entrepreneurship development objective was to transform the economy and place Ghana as the most business-friendly country in Africa.

He said the medium-term focus was to grow domestic businesses and expand the private sector to create ample employment opportunities, especially for the youth and take Ghana beyond aid. 

Mr Ofori-Atta stated in the presentation of the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review of the 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy & Supplementary Estimates in Parliament in Accra that a number of interventions were being implemented to support businesses as well as improve the enabling environment and Ghana’s competitiveness and ranking.

These include ongoing reforms to improve business registration, issuance of construction permits, access to electricity, trading across borders, paying taxes, enforcing contracts and registering property.

He said as a result of these interventions, Ghana moved up six places from 120 to 114 in the 2019 Doing Business Rankings of the World Bank Group.

He said Parliament on May 2, 2019 passed the new Companies Act, which introduced various key provisions, which has aligned the corporate governance regime to global best practices.

On the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the minister said Ghana won the bid to host the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area and this was the first time Ghana was hosting an African institution of this importance.

The AfCFTA is the world’s largest Free Trade Area in terms of number of people, covering 54 countries with a population of an estimated 1.2 billion people and a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $3.0 trillion (5 per cent of global GDP).

The AfCFTA would lead to the removal of tariffs and non-tariff barriers between African countries and thereby promote intra-regional trade from the current low level of 16 per cent to over 60 per cent by 2022 as well as increase Africa’s share of global trade.

It is expected that by hosting the Secretariat, Ghana as a regional hub would become a reality and the service sector, particularly the hospitality sector, would experience a major boost through increased international exposure. Several direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created. 

He said in view of the various reforms and implementation of the government’s priority programmes, “we believe that Ghana is well positioned to take advantage of the Free Trade Area.”

He said as part of measures to ensure that Ghana derives maximum benefit from the AfCFTA, a National Strategy and Action Plan would be developed to boost Industrial Production and Exports.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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