Recently, when the leadership of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), and the National Council of the Bar called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to discuss some pertinent national issues bordering on the “culture of impunity” and the current state of the economy, amongst other issues, the President had ceased the opportunity to express his discomfort with the sliding cedi value against its international counterparts.
“There are structural problems that are not being articulated loudly enough,” President Akufo Addo had said emphatically. He went on to situate the core cause of the continued poor performance of the cedi to the fact that the nation was not producing enough and thus not earning enough foreign exchange through export to boost the local currency’s value.
“We live in a country where we are overly dependent on the importation of things for our daily sustenance. Things that we can produce, we continue to import them, and at the same time, we don’t generate enough exports, this is the real origin of the fragility of our currency,” the President had said with clear insight.
Against this background, it would seem as if The Business Executive Limited, the organizers of the Ghana Manufacturers Business Summit 2019 was acting in tandem with the concerns of the President when they planned the conveyance of Ghana’s manufacturers to network and interface with the government towards fashioning out the best way to get Ghana producing again.
The highly anticipated event is a sector-specific concept designed to annually convene all stakeholders in the manufacturing sub-sector to deliberate on issues of growth opportunities, investment and challenges confronting the sub-sector, while consistently seeking ways to achieve progressive productivity.
For the maiden event slated for Monday, 27th May, the theme is Achieving Growth Turn-Around in Manufacturing: The Role of Government.
“We have deliberately singled out the manufacturing sub-sector for this special consistent focus because of its importance to Ghana’s economy and also, as a media company, we wish to set up productivity as an agenda in order to underscore its importance and bring a turn-around in Ghana’s economic development,” the organizers said.
Also, it should be recalled that in Vienna, Austria, in September 22, 2017, African leaders, UN officials, and representatives of international finance institutions and of the private sector met at the United Nations Headquarters to reaffirm their commitment to a broad-based international partnership to industrialize Africa in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner.
The UN declared 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). How can Ghana deliberately and strategically plan towards taking advantage of the inherent opportunities in this UN’s programme?
However, as much as the UN programme should be regarded as a welcome one, Ghana should be mindful of the implicit pressure that comes with the gains of today’s global economy.
Many African countries, including Ghana, have restructured their economies and have embraced liberal economic and trade policies to support development strategies in order to tap into the global economy. These reforms have come with their own challenges, including the influx of imported commodities and unfortunate closure of industries with consequential job losses.
As these realities take their toll on our local economies, the moment calls for a conscious and deliberate effort and the rethinking of our policies in the direction of getting manufacturing back on its feet again for the much-needed restoration and growth.
The sub-sector will continue to shrink and Ghana would be losing its industrial base and missing out of the on-going concerted efforts of Africa and the United Nations to industrialize Africa in the next ten years if the government does not strategically and deliberately rethink its policies purposely to address the sector’s challenges. And for government to awaken to this important task, it is in place that the affected sector takes the initiative to nudge and guide government into action through sustained dialogue. It is the realisation of this vital necessity that gave birth to the idea of the Ghana Manufacturer’s Business Summit.
“Consequently, the paramount objective of the Ghana Manufacturer’s Business Summit is to drive sustained growth of the manufacturing sub-sector through direct engagement of the private and public sectors in dialogue and negotiations for the creation of enabling an environment for growth. The other objective is to trigger conscious and active participation of industry players in the development of the sub-sector, collectively, and across association lines.”
Furthermore, “The Summit shall be so committed and functional it shall set up a system to track and measure the growth of the sub-sector from year to year.”
According to the organizers, discussions with the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the Ghana Manufacturers Business Summit 2019 commenced “since last year” and now everything is set for its happening. The event will take place on 27th May in Accra and already has partners like the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, One District, One Factory, and the Ghana International Trade Fair Company, and the list is still growing.
Speakers at the event shall include Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso 1, President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who will also be the Guest of Honour; Dr Nana Osei Bonsu, Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, Dr John Kwakye, and others yet to be confirmed.
The Business Executive Limited, conveners of this event are also the organizers of the prestigious Ghana Industry CEO Awards, Ghana Trade & Commerce Awards, African Business Executive Excellence Awards, Feminine Ghana Achievement Awards, and the publishers of the widely circulated The Business Executive Magazine read across West Africa.