Business News of 2014-03-15

Reduce taste for foreign goods – Mahama to Ghanaians

President John Mahama has appealed to Ghanaians to change their unbridled taste for foreign goods and switch to made-in-Ghana goods.

The change, he said, will reduce importation of goods and services and create jobs for indigenous industries and people throughout the country.

President Mahama made the appeal when he addressed students of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa as part of his three-day working visit to the Western Region.

President Mahama said the current state of generating GH¢ 13 billion and spending GH¢17 billion a year on importation of goods which could have been produced in Ghana was having a severe financial toll on the economy, and called on the indigenous industries to step up and improve on their production levels to win Ghanaians.

He stated that government will shift from the tradition that had, over the years, made Ghana an exporter of raw materials and an importer of finished goods,President Mahama added that government, through the Ministries of Education and Employment and Labour Relations, was currently undertaking a research to determine the real recruitment drive of entrepreneurs after which training programmes would be tailored for them.

The President said the UMaT students were technically inclined and could, therefore, take up certain responsibilities in the mines and other mining engineering positions and advised other universities to switch from their traditional courses to science and technology that could increase the job opportunities of the students.

He also mentioned that government had signed the Local Content Bill and would, therefore, need technical experts in mining and oil and gas to take up key responsibilities in those industries and urged the students to add value to their training to fit into the job market.

Government, according to him is liaising with the Chinese government to provide them with the technical expertise and technology to reclaim all the depleted lands as a result of small scale illegal mining.

Professor Samuel Yaw Kumah, Vice Chancellor of UMaT, on his part said the institution is conducting a research on how coconut shells could be used for activated carbons to reduce the importation of the commodity into the country.

According to him, the university was consulting with members of the Association of Small Scale Miners to regulate the practice and stem illegal mining throughout the country.

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