The newly-inducted President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Dr. Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, has called on government to implement the 70percent local procurement policy to curb traders’ desire for imported goods, declaring that “It’s time to save our industries”.
Speaking shortly after his investiture in Accra, he was emphatic that the private sector, specifically industry, has the duty to create opportunities for the youth of this country but that it could only be achieved when the sector is thriving and is productive.
“We will need government’s full support in procuring our locally produced products; also, we anticipate the implementation of the 70percent local procurement policy to curb traders’ desire for imported goods,” he cited, among a list of other pressing concerns.
He added: “We need strong regulatory environments that help generate business giants in Ghana and across the sub-region as a whole.”
To help the course of industry, Dr. Adu-Gyamfi implored the Bank of Ghana to work closely with commercial banks to drive down interest rates so that businesses can access cheap credit to support their operations.
Also, to enhance intra-regional trade, he called for closer collaboration towards the harmonisation of all industrial policies in the ECOWAS region.
To him, the current slow pace of cooperation is hurting all economies in West Africa and that policymakers will need to work more closely together, adding that “the whole region will continue to lose jobs to the tigers of Asia unless we learn to work together”.
“West African governments must realise that no economy on its own can resolve its issues of unemployment and poverty alone,” he said.
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Udemba Jacobs, in his remarks, emphasised the need for ECOWAS countries to maintain strong political will towards industrialising the sub-region.
Such measures to industrialise the sub-region, he noted, should include tackling the insecurity along regional trade routes, creating an open market that accepts products from ECOWAS member states, as well as developing a regional rail infrastructure.
“There is the need to strengthen industrialisation across the sub-region in order to improve the welfare of the people.
Despite the strides, we need to remain focused, and not sway from the ECOWAS ideal that seeks to ensure employment creation and poverty reduction,” he noted.