Time to support local banks to aid transformation Agenda – Prez

President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last week said government is taking steps to empower indigenous financial entities to be able to support and spur Ghana’s transformation agenda.

He said it is not acceptable that foreign banks which have become major economic players are content with making lots of money, but are not being particularly involved in taking risk that would contribute to development of the economies they operate in.

“I don’t have a difficulty with people wanting to make money, but I do have a problem with making money in an environment whereby no significant contribution to the transformation of the economy is being made,” President Akufo-Addo said at a forum on the transformation of Africa in Accra.

He stressed the need for African nations to make policies that promote the growth of home-grown financial institutions which will spur the transformation envisioned by the continent.

“That is an area requiring important policymaking that promotes indigenous banks to grow and be strong enough to take up the role of providing the financial wherewithal to spur the transformation we are looking for.”

He continued: “We have not had it so far, but it’s an area my government is paying particular attention to; because without having banks that are prepared to finance growth, industrial and agriculture initiatives, it is going to be difficult for us to make the transition we are seeking”.

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The forum, which also had on the panel Rwandan leader Paul Kagame; Cote d’Ivoire’s Vice-President Daniel Kablan Duncan; and Nigerian business mogul Aliko Dangote, rounded-off activities marking the second African Transformation Forum hosted by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET).

President Akufo-Addo reiterated that Africa has all it needs to transition from a state of poverty to that of prosperity.

With the continent holding 50 percent of the world’s arable land, over 30 percent of the remaining minerals in the world, and with the youngest and most vibrant population of all the continents, he said, there iss no reason for Africa to be where it is at present.

Fortunately, African leaders are now taking the reality that is required, making sure key important paradigms of development are observed and followed on keenly.

That paradigm is the role that governments ought to play in the process of transformation, by building strong economies based on sound macro-economics, good educational reforms and skills acquisition, as well as the skilled workforce needed for transformation.

The president told the forum that his government has placed priority on sanitising the macro-economy of the country, which indications have proved that those policies are achieving the purpose of a more robust economy – with a significant reduction in inflation, interest rates, deficits and national debt.

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“In management of the national economy, significant progress has been made on laying the foundation for an attractive investment destination in Ghana. We have begun a very significant expansion of the education system through the Free Senior High School programme, embarked on a serious reorganisation of the system for vocational training, and are now reforming the educational curricular to respond to the needs of the world of work.

“The Ghanaian economy is reliable, and we believe the good policies will lead to transformation of the country,” he said.

Mr. Kagame on his part stressed the need for Africa to have a mindset that moves away from discussing the continent’s problems and focuses on implementing strategies that will propel it into prosperity.

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