Ghana Economic Forum 2022: No better time to build robust, resilient economy than now – panellists at GEF


If there is any best time to transform the economy into a robust and resilient one it is now, experts at the 11th Ghana Economic Forum have said.

The experts – including Managing Director of GCB Bank, Kofi Adomakoh, and Andy Akoto, KPMG Partner – believe that current economic challenges facing the country and the world at large have afforded the country an opportune moment to finally economy’s structure from too import-dependent to a producing one.

“We should never allow such a serious crisis to go to waste.  As Ghanaians, we are faced with a glaring opportunity to pull together in a bid to restructure our economy from a service-driven one and instead build a robust and resilient one through technology, finance, Investment, trade and entrepreneurship.

“In essence, an approach that may not require significant capital and yet is more labour intensive to provide the needed employment for our youth – a de-emphasis of our over-reliance on imports as the first stage of industrialization, as well as the initial stage of building for ourselves a resilient economy,” Mr. Adomakoh said in a speech read on his behalf.

He said the success of mobile money payment interoperability has shown that concerted use of technology to drive revenue collection, bring down costs of doing business, as well as breaking down silos across all facets of the economy are some of the ways to build robustness and resilience.

“The domestic financial sector has reaped many of the benefits of technology. Recent digital interventions at the ports, Driver and Vehicle Licencing Authority, Passport Office and the evolution of e-commerce are examples of how technology can help bring about efficiency. But there are still more opportunities to explore in the technology and innovation space which can significantly improve our economic life as a nation. Therefore, the design of our economic and structural reforms and domestic revenue mobilisation strategies must increasingly embrace the use of more technology,” he explained.

On why there is an urgent need for a change in the economy’s structure, he said the perennial cedi depreciation is one problem that clearly reflects structural weaknesses, as well as a non-competitive trade sector and unfavorable terms of trade, among other factors.

“The current glaring limited processing capacity for our primary export commodities presents us with an enormous potential for value added services – which today, sadly, remains largely untapped. I must say, however, it is heartwarming that the merchandise trade account has recorded surpluses since 2016 and the contribution from non-traditional exports is steadily increasing. Nonetheless, we are faced with a huge call for sustained efforts to do far more, given the worsening current account deficit position,” he added.

“How can we, as economic actors, work together to enhance trade competitiveness of the Ghanaian, and by extension boost our foreign exchange earning capacity? To what extent can the domestic financial sector work with industry and services to increase trade in processed goods and services?” he queried.

For his part, Mr. Akoto-KPMG Partner, said a diverse economy, skilled workforce and the agility of government and stakeholders in responding to economic shocks are some features of a robust and resilient economy.

Despite the present challenges, he said, Global CEOs are confident about prospects of the world economy over the next three years – although nine out of 10 are bracing for a recession, according to the KPMG 2022 CEO Outlook report.

He added that CEOs are largely positive about global economic prospects, but have adjusted or plan to adjust their risk management procedures considering geopolitical risks.

They spoke at the 2022 GEF themed Building a robust ad resilient economy through technology, finance, investment, trade and entrepreneurship. The three-day event from 24th to 26th October 2022 is being organised by the B&FT in partnership with MasterCard, GCB Bank and KPMG.

Gov’t committed to improving credit environment

While acknowledging the challenges faced by businesses and Ghanaians at large, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, said government remains committed to pursuing policies to improve the credit crunch situation.

He however called on business leaders to rethink how business is done in the current economic climate, emphasising the need for sustainability and long-term value.

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