Trade and Industry Minister, Mr Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen on Wednesday stated that Ghana is making steady progress in its quest to industrialise and move beyond aid.
He said Ghana could have quickened the pace of its industrial transformation agenda if the various governments had implemented the policies bequeathed to them by predecessors.
The sector minister was speaking at the Danquah Institute Liberty Lecture on the topic “Industrialising Ghana Beyond Aid for an Integrated Africa.”
His comments comes at a time when the government is making efforts to change the narrative from going cup in hand begging to building an economy where goods are produced in Ghana for consumption and export.
Mr Kyerematen who was also the former Minister of Trade under President John Agyekum Kufuor’s administration, noted that the talk about Ghana moving beyond aid could have long come to fruition but for the lack of political will and commitment towards industrialisation by past governments.
He said all the leading economies in the world were industrialised and urged Ghana to draw lessons from other countries including Malaysia, where oil palm contributes $16 billion to the country’s economy per annum.
Mr Kyerematen told the participants made up of students, businesses and the academia that the Kufuor administration introduced a number of economic reforms to diversify the economy.
He blamed the previous administration for not continuing President Kufuor’s economic programmes, saying the performance of the industrial sector under the late President Mills’ administration demonstrated a lack of focus on industrial development as a national priority.
The Trade and Industry Minister noted that moving Ghana beyond aid meant the oil rich country would replace concessional loans and grants with private capital, adding that there was the need to create an enabling environment to attract foreign investors and support mobilisation of capital.
Mr Kyerematen noted that the Akufo-Addo government had been implementing various economic policies that sought to wean the country from donor support.
He said President Akufo-Addo’s industrial transformation agenda was providing support to local industries that are currently distressed, establishing One-District One-Factory in all the 216 districts, promoting of oil palm production, industrial parks, promoting small and medium enterprises and value added exports.
Mr Richard Ahiabga, the Executive Director of Danquah Institute described the late Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah as someone who sacrificed his time to redeem Ghana from British colonial rule, because he stood for human rights and the liberation of Ghana from domination by imperialists.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA