24-hour economy to thrive on accelerated export – John Mahama


…as CIBA endorses proposed policy

Former president, John Dramani Mahama, has said he will initiate an Accelerated Export Development Programme as part of the 24-hour Economy Policy implementation when voted into power.

He explained that the programme will be coordinated from the presidency in order to give it the requisite support due to the critical role export plays in the country’s growth.

“I will chair the initiative and make sure it is given all the necessary support to thrive,” the former president said at a forum hosted by the Council of Indigenous Business Associations (CIBA) in Accra.

Under the theme ‘Formalising informal sector businesses through CIBA for economic growth’, the event aimed to ascertain John Mahama’s vision for the country’s informal economy if he becomes president.

Mr. Mahama reiterated that the only way to revive the economy is by increasing productivity and giving export a renewed focus, and the next NDC government will look at crops and commodities which have comparative advantage for export – including cashew, oil palm, rice, cotton, shea nut, livestock and aquaculture, among others.

All these resources, according to the former president, have potential for creating import substitutes and value addition to boost the economy.

He pointed out how Benin is able to take advantage of cotton production for a positive economic turnaround.

In 2021, Benin recorded a record production of 728,000 tonnes of raw cotton, with plans currently underway to create jobs and revenue by processing the cotton locally; with the goal of exporting apparel to consumer markets in Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States.

The former president expressed optimism that the same model can be used to grow and export cotton, and develop a strong domestic apparel market to compete globally.

“The Eximbank my administration established before I left office in 2016 was meant to finance the above-mentioned sectors’ growth and trigger value addition for exports. I will ensure that the bank serves its purpose of facilitating and bolstering government’s quest to implement a sustainable export-led economy,” he assured.

A Labour Consultant and CEO-Gamey & Gamey, Mr. Austin Gamey, was a guest speaker at the forum and asked the former president to consider formalising CIBA and its cooperatives under the proposed 24-hour economy policy.

With an estimated five million members across several sub-associations, Mr. Gamey said CIBA will benefit tremendously from the proposed policy as its members fall largely within the informal sector.

Executive Secretary-CIBA, John Nimo, said the Association yearns for an inclusive socio-economic impact on private sector development.

He emphasised that the Association has embraced the 24-hour economy initiative, saying the informal sector will benefit from its implementation.

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