The 21stcentury private sector has now been classified as the engine for developmental growth and machinery for job creation in the new world. The sector is believed to be a source of opportunity that will allow governments to ride on for jobs and opportunities to be created to improve lives of their citizenry. Governments of the new world are increasingly expected to create enabling environment through policy and policy interventions to set the stage for the private sector to grow and expand.In recent years the private sector is considered as a partner of governments more than a menace as it used to be.
Government’s promulgation of a good regulatory framework and a stable macroeconomic environment is a sine qua non for job creation, poverty reduction and economic development for its people.
Governments of today are expected and looked up to for the formulation of strategies and implementation of policies for a sound stable economic environment for private sector development and growth. The growth of the private sector will propagate the increase of competition, efficiency in service delivery, production and manufacturing. This will allow wide coverage of goods and service by reducing the cost of transportation and delivery services.
Access to credit and funding/catalytic role
There are several ways through which the government may provide funding to the private sector, directly or indirectly. Example subsidies/grants, equity investment and borrowing. Others include absorbing construction cost, land acquisition, machinery and taking up maintenance cost of projects.
Other options can be waiving of fees, cost and other payments, waiver of tax liabilities, loans/credit for financing projects and investment. The government may also choose to use its network to mobilise financing from the local financial market and channel same to the private sector.
On the other hand, the government can champion policy interventions such as Venture capital to support the private sector and startups. The government can do this by using its machinery and network to bring investors to invest in the private sector. The government of the day can constitute a secretariat where startups, business ideas and struggling businesses that need refinancing/capitalisation can be accessed and supported through the venture capital idea. This move will help resolve and solve the financial and economic problems that the sector cannot solve singlehandedly.
The Masloc initiative is a good one which can be reviewed and properly constituted to support businesses. I want to recommend that as government institute its policies and interventions, the ministry of monitoring and evaluation is tasked to ensure that business and individuals that are given funding and credit are delivering value to the country.
Stable and affordable energy
The backbone of any country for economic sustainability and growth is a stable uninterrupted affordable power supply. All the sectors of the economy grow and develop when they have the power to operate all the channels of their business. Productions, manufacturing, service, transportation and health of the people are sustained and increased when there is an efficient power supply.
A collaborative approach by government and the private sector can make this a reality. This is as important now as it’s ever been because our country has seen businesses collapse and folded up as a result of continues power crises over the last three years.
The first strategy, ‘The Build Operate transfer agreement’ as a citizen who cares about the welfare of our people and passionate about development and growth, I recommend this development strategy for solving our energy/power problems. This policy strategy can be used to diversify the sources of energy ie.Solar, Thermal, Wind, Hydro and others. Most developed nations have used this policy strategy to solve major infrastructural problems. Example, Turkey, Malaysia and others have used this strategy to solve and develop sectors of their country.
Secondly, the government of Ghana can implement Joint Venture strategy; what I call ‘The big problem solver’. The government can use joint venture strategy to foster great collaboration between the private sector and foreign investors to obtain solutions to problems that government cannot solve by itself. There are great investors who are looking for an opportunity to invest and solve a need problem. Taking advantage of this opportunity will create jobs and bring development to our country. Example, china has used joint venture strategy between foreign investors and private sector to increase foreign exchange generation capacity, foreign technology & capital, and promoted joint research & development for its people.
The depth of our passion and enthusiasm to make our country better can be realised when great support is given to the private sector to bring the development we need. This is because the private sector makes it easy for a strong initiative to be implemented and bureaucratic obstacles that plague national growth and economic development cut off. With the goodwill of Ghanaians, it is expected that the private sector will rise up to the occasion by embracing the various incentives put or to be put on the table by the Government. Indeed guaranteed prices and ready market for farm produce should entice out growers to produce for further processing. The affront of buying orange and pineapple juices produced in known desert countries should cease.
I have no doubts in my mind that we as a country can do better to create jobs, provide stable affordable power and better the lot of our people.
Our nation can become what we want it to be only when we do not give up on people but rather support them to be better citizens.
The challenge also goes out to graduates from the various institutions to put their acquired expertise at the disposal of the country. In all, we expect the private sector to deliver jobs and opportunities.
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