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Statement: DUC President charges Public/Private Sectors to Plan Jointly for Greater National Success
The government and private sector operators have been called upon to foster closer partnership ties for economic growth, especially by undertaking joint strategic planning exercises each year, in order to assure themselves and Ghana of greater successes and prosperity in the 2013 and in the future.. The call was contained in a speech delivered by the President of the Dominion University College, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, at the just-ended “Ghana Economic Outlook and Business Strategy Conference,” which was held at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Addressing the opening session of the conference, Dr. Spio-Garbrah, who also doubled as the Conference Convener, underscored the need for managers of the nation’s economy and players in the private sector to see the importance in creating a common platform where they could strategize and lay bare their respective plans for the impending year.
Under the theme “Strategies for a Good Year 2013,” the conference, was organized by the Dominion University College Business School, Africa Business Media, (publishers of the Ghana Business and Finance monthly magazine), the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC). In attendance were some top government officials and some of the CEO’s of the GIPC’s Club 100 top companies. Other delegates were heads of public utility service providers, key foreign investors in the country, members of the diplomatic corps, small and medium-size business executives, religious leaders, academia, and civil society leaders.
Explaining further the rationale and theme of the conference, ‘the former communications minister said the last quarter of each year presented an opportune time for both public institutions and private companies to examine the outlook for the following year and by so doing, draw up their plans, programmes and budgets to respond to the opportunities and challenges they see ahead. He considered that through such joint collaborations, the private sector could see their profitability explode, while the public sector also learnt useful lessons from the plans of the private sector for national development planning. In his view therefore, “the institutionalization of this annual conference is timely and very useful,” he stated.
In a speech delivered on behalf of the President of the Republic, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, the chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Mr. Paul Victor Obeng, stated that Ghanaians should expect a very vibrant private sector in the next four - year term of the NDC beginning in January 2013. He said the institution of the Private Sector Advisory Council had created the required decision-making body for Public–Private Partnerships (PPP) “that would allow for co-determination of what was to be done, how, when and by whom,” and ensure the deepening of trust between these two partners in development through effective monitoring.
On his part, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Seth Tekper assured the business community that the government has mapped out firm ‘Strategies for a Good Year 2013’ with sustainable job creation based on heavy investments in infrastructure and social services as the main agenda item.
Speaking from the private sector perspective, Mr. Ishmael Yamson, the chairman of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, said the business community in Ghana prefers a predictable stable policy, regulatory and macro-economic platform devoid of surprises in order to assure the nation of private sector expansion, revenue increases and job creation.
Other speakers at the conference included Ms. Hannah Tetteh, Minister for Trade and Industry; Ms. Doreen Owusu-Fianko, CEO of the Ghana Airports Company; Mr. Kweku Sakyi-Addo, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms; Mr. Kweku Bedu-Addo, MD of Standard Chartered Bank; Ms. Dzigbordi Dosoo, CEO of Allure Africa; Mr G Anamoo, Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Mr Kweku Awotwi, CEO of the Volta Reiver Authority; and Mr.Tony Aubyn, CEO Ghana Chamber of Mines.
The conference also witnessed mini presentations by the young CEOs of several start-up companies that had won final places in a recent national contest for technology based start-ups. Some of them were described as the future Yahoos, Googles and Facebooks of Ghana.
The conference, reportedly the first of its kind in Ghana, received an overwhelming endorsement from speakers and attendees who re-iterated the need for such forward-looking prognostic events to be regularly rolled out on the economic calendar of the country, to enable managers of the nation’s resources and captains of industry to dialogue on the way forward for the country.
Speaker after speaker lauded the DUC Business School for coming up with this innovative national agenda and for spearheading the organization of the first such conference in spite of various challenges. The School was charged with setting up a consultative process to see to the realization of an Entrepreneurship Development Fund, which was canvassed as one of the outcomes of the conference.
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