General News of 2014-08-01

Ghana’s economic structure is part of the problem - Mahama

President John Mahama insists Ghana remains the preferred investment destination despite economic challenges the country is facing.

The President also insists the economic prospects of the country are still bright although there are concerns over economic problems that have resulted in Ghana losing out to its peers in the region.

“I think that Ghana is still a frontier market with lots of potential. It’s still the most attractive destination in West Africa…and I believe the focus has been too much on the short-term economic challenges,” he told the BBC in an interview on Friday.

Describing the country’s current economic challenges as part of “a cycle of booms and busts,” the President maintains “Ghana’s economic structure is part of the problem."

“We are a highly import-dependent economy, and so even for items that we have a comparative advantage to produce, a lot of Ghanaian entrepreneurs find it easier to just import it,” he explained.

He revealed that as part of a restructuring policy, his government is getting Ghanaian entrepreneurs and businesses to change their focus and reduce imports.

When this is achieved, more jobs will be created and reduce the spate of foreign exchange leaving the country to another economy, he said.

On steps government is taking to move the country from the current economic challenges, he announced “we are making a lot of reforms in many sectors."

“I think the thing about change and reform is that it takes a long time…for people to see the effects of it."

Ghana’s currency has lost more than 30% of its value against major trading currencies since January 2014; cost of living and utility tariffs continue to rise while inflation has hit a high of 14%.

But President Mahama says “as captain of the ship,” he can see further, promising “things will get better."

Source: myjoyonline.com
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