President Nana Akufo-Addo says he is troubled by the weakening local currency against major trading currencies.
The local currency has witnessed some significant depreciation selling at ¢5.51 against the American dollar at the end of trading on February 25, 2019.
Some currency dealers and treasurers have argued that challenge facing the cedi is supply issue and if the Bank of Ghana increases the number of dollars it releases onto the market then the fast depreciation of the cedi would be over.
The depreciation of the Ghana cedi against the American dollar and the British pound sterling seems to be taking a heavy toll on importers.
“None of the items I sell is manufactured in this country, and after selling I have to change my money into dollars to travel abroad to buy new products,” an importer told Joy News recently.
But speaking at the commissioning of the Fujian Sentuo Ceramics Company at Kpone in Accra, Wednesday, February 27, a worried Nana Akufo-Addo said he feels “...extremely upset and anxious about it too..”
He assured, however, that all efforts are being made to arrest the decline and restore the cedi to stability, in order to improve the competitiveness of Ghanaian industry.
“Very soon, we will be seeing the results of our policy,” he added.
Fujian Ceramics Company
The Fujian Sentuo Ceramics Company, a ceramic tile manufacturing company operating under the 1-District-1-Factory initiative, located in Kpone, in the Greater Accra Region.
With the company employing some 1,500 employees, and sourcing 90% of its raw materials from Ghana, mainly from the Central and Western regions, President Akufo-Addo thanked the promoters of the company for taking advantage of the policies rolled out by Government, under the 1-District-1-Factory Policy, in order to make these investments.
President indicated that his Government wants to achieve a significant level of industrial development, that is why he commenced, immediately after his assumption of office, a programme of industrial transformation.
“The industrial transformation agenda is anchored on a 10-point plan, confronting the private sector and its ability to spearhead the development of our country. Some of those are the high cost of doing business, lack of access to medium- and long-term financing, poor infrastructure and logistics support for enterprises and commercial activities, inadequate skilled manpower and limited access to technology, innovation and research,” he said.
All of these challenges, the President assured, are being addressed by the policies of government.
He indicated that government is working hard to “bring down interest rates so that we increase the ability of businesses to fund their activities, while we are putting in place new arrangements for the Agricultural Development Bank and the National Investment Bank, so that it can be more focused on providing the funds for medium- and long-term investments for industrial development.”
In addition to these, President Akufo-Addo noted that, in the course of the last two years, the monetary policy rate of the Bank of Ghana is reducing, and inflation has also come down significantly, adding that “all of these are efforts that we are making to improve the business environment and make it possible for our enterprises in Ghana to be competitive.”
He urged residents of the people of Tema and Kpone Katamanso “to embrace this factory and the work that is being done here and give the Chinese promoters of the factory the maximum support.”
President Akufo-Addo reiterated that “I am determined in my period in office to make the steps that will bring about structural changes in the manner in which the Ghanaian economy works, so we can have the sustained development and progress that our people are looking for.”
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