Ghana will prioritise industrialisation in its 2020 budget as the country strives to become economically independent, finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has said.
Ofori-Atta told The Daily Graphic newspaper the country had seen three years of macro-economic stability and it was now time to invest in industrialisation in order to boost Ghana’s economic growth.
“We want the country to become a regional hub for trade, and a key trade and facilitation centre,” said the minister, stressing how industrialisation was all part of a national plan called Ghana Beyond Aid which aims to make the country self-reliant.
The plan, outlined by the Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo in May 2019, provides a roadmap to economic independence. It came at a time when the government began settling some of the arrears it owed to the country’s national pension scheme.
Ofori-Atta also highlighted plans in the 2020 budget to review the country’s tax exemption policy.
“We lose a lot of resources in exemptions and it’s time to straighten it out and make exemptions count,” he said. “There are too many institutions and people who are benefiting but do not need to.”
He revealed that the Ghanaian government had signed a loan agreement with Kuwait to finance a transportation project called the Dome-Kitase road project, which aims to provide a reliable year-round land route to the southern part of the country. The loan, from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, is worth US$23.8m.
The project is also expected to enhance investment in agricultural activities, development of light industries, and create jobs in southern Ghana.
With estimated costs of GH¢179m ($33m), it joins several other government initiatives designed to improve Ghana’s economy. These include job creation plans such as the One District One Factory policy, Planting for Food and Jobs, the Industrial Stimulus Package, and Planting for Export and Rural Development. Akufo-Addo stressed how these initiatives were beginning to bear fruit.