Business News of 2014-03-28

‘Slow economic growth due to neglect of agric’

A co-founder of Blue Skies, producers of fruit beverages, Mr Seth Kwasi Dei, has attributed the slow pace of the country’s economic development to the neglect of the agricultural sector.

According to him, although the agricultural sector remains the largest in terms of employment, lack of financial support and neglect of the sector by “the educated” continue to affect Ghana’s economy.

Speaking at the 11th MTN-Business World Executive Breakfasting Meeting in Accra Thursday, Mr Dei, a renowned Ghanaian investor, said the key to solving the numerous challenges bedevilling Ghana’s economy was for the country to invest more in the agricultural sector.

The event, organised by MTN in partnership with the Business World, had the theme: “Positioning your business for global expansion.” The meeting offered the platform for executive briefings and networking of businesses for chief executive officers, senior management and entrepreneurs in Ghana to share ideas on how to grow their businesses.

The event was also used to introduce MTN’s global MPLS VPN service. The product provides an avenue for local businesses and international companies to connect their offices in Ghana to others in different geographical locations across the world using a network connectivity solution.

Mr Dei said in the past, Ghana’s agricultural sector was left in the hands of “the illiterate”, making the sector under-resourced and inadequately equipped. “Until we understand that the wealth of every nation is in the soil, the country will continue to face the same old economic problem,” he said.

According to Mr Dei, the government must aim at enhancing the agricultural sector, adding that Ghanaians must also see the sector as the answer to the country’s development challenges and see to its development. He said most of the youth in the country, if given the needed support and assistance, would go into agriculture.

Mr Dei also had issues with the way the agricultural sector was being supported by financial institutions and said “they must fully support the sector in terms of granting loans and other packages.”

In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN, Mr Serame Taukpbong, said the company had over the past years initiated programmes to support the development of Ghana’s economy, and added that it would continue devising effective ways of assisting the development of the country’s economy, particularly in the creation of jobs for the youth