Ghana’s efforts to build a self-reliant economy, the country’s digitization drive and the sectors of the economy ripe for investment are among the topical issues explored by Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President said , in an in-depth video interview (vidcast) he gave to Oxford Business Group (OBG)’s Souhir Mzali, the global research and advisory company’s Regional Editor for Africa.
Bawumia said that the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic had provided a timely opportunity for Ghana to build on the policy framework already in place, which aimed to encourage the expansion of domestic industries and reduce imports.
He gave the example of PPE production, which he said had been allocated to local textile industries and produced a “fantastic” response.
“In a sense, COVID, in some paradoxical way, has jump-started our ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ mission,” he said. “It has allowed us to be more self-reliant and we have now, by way of policy, through this whole experience said government procurement should be very much directed, when possible to the local industries. We’re seeing a good response and that is going to drive our policy going forward.”
Bawumia told OBG that Ghana’s progress in digitalisation had also proved beneficial when the coronavirus hit, facilitating the implementation of innovative public health solutions that even included the use of drones, while also providing citizens with access to key government services online and allowing many of them to work from home.
“Digital solutions have been extremely helpful in tracing, in testing, in delivery of samples for testing and in communications,” he said. “The whole process reinforced our commitment to the digitisation process.”
The vice-president said Ghana offered myriad opportunities for investment in a variety of sectors, which ranged from agriculture – an area likely to be of particular interest, given the current focus on food security – to industry, financial services and digital services.
“We also believe that Ghana should leverage its position as the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area to become a regional hub,” he said. “We’re building an economy that is going to leverage all these investments to become a hub for many services.”
The talk with Bawumia is OBG’s latest vidcast, a go-to research tool in which high-profile representatives from the public and private sectors answer pertinent questions on topical issues relating to the economic development of emerging economies and their investment opportunities.
The company is also currently producing a range of country-specific Covid-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews.