Business News of 2014-04-02

AGI ready to actualise Made-in-Ghana campaign

The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has availed itself to the Presidency as a committed organisation capable of putting in place a credible road map that will help actualise President John Mahama's Made-in-Ghana campaign.

The association, which is the umbrella body of manufacturing companies and related service providers in the country, believes its years of advocating and championing the course of Ghana-made products has earned it the right expertise and technical know-how needed to whip up interest for made-in-Ghana products while reigniting the spirit of industrialisation within the Ghanaian business community.

The President of the association, Mr James Asare-Adjei, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on March 27 that the association would therefore, stop at nothing in ensuring that President Mahama's desire for a vibrant local industry that thrives on the consumption of local products is realised to the fullest.

"We at AGI are very enthusiastic about that initiative by the President and for that matter we will stop at nothing in supporting to the fullest such a vision," Mr Asare-Adjei, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Asadtek Group, said in an interview.

He spoke to the paper at the ongoing solo exhibition of made-in-Ghana products in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, where some 50 local companies are seeking foreign partners and showcasing their products to that country.

The exhibition, which opened on March 27, is an initiative of the AGI aimed at creating a platform for Ghanaian companies to explore and find markets abroad for their respective products.

This year's event is the fifth of its kind and will run till April 2, within which participating companies will sell their wares, seek local partners and find new export markets for their respective products.

It is on the theme: 'Promoting Regional Integration Through Trade' and is being supported by the MoTI, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund (EDAIF).

Export-driven economy

Although many political leaders, including ministers and parliamentarians had previously talked about the need for the country to shun imports and, instead, increase appetite for locally manufactured goods, nothing tangible had been done to actualise that plan.

Similar sentiments have been expressed of late. The most recent and highest of all were those by President Mahama during his State of the Nation Address to Parliament on February 26 and later in his Independence Day speech to the nation on March 6.

In the two instances, the President openly lamented the country's over-dependence on imports, which he observed to be draining the national kitty of its meager resources while drawing back the growth of local businesses.

Mr Asare-Adjei said, "One area of our expertise is demonstrated by this solo exhibition that we have just put together. You would agree with me that bringing over 50 companies to Ouagadougou to sell themselves and the country is not an easy task but because we have accumulated the expertise in export-driven initiatives, we have been able to do this," Mr Asare-Adjei said, noting that similar expertise had been gathered in the areas of policy advocacy, interest arousals as well as in policy formulation and implementation.

"It is gratifying that the President is leading this buy made-in-Ghana initiative but we at AGI had indicated on several times that it is better for the private sector to take a lead in such efforts because as we take ownership, it works better.

“We will, therefore, call on the government to really recognise the efforts that the association has done and is doing and really give AGI the opportunity and support to implement and lead this process base on the historical record in implementing and promoting made-in-Ghana products in this country," he added.

He called on the various business promotion agencies to continue to open up to the private sector in the formulation of policies, and explained that it was only when the private sector owned an idea that its results would be guaranteed.

"We the private sector players know ourselves and we know what will work for us. If we are involved and made to lead a process, then you can be sure it will work better," he added.

Source: graphic.com
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