In what appeared to be a pre-election push for NPP in 2020, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia spoke to a packed audience reemphasizing his commitment to strengthening Ghana’s economy.
“A strong economy expands opportunities and allows individuals to venture into new territories,” said Bawumia at the Ghana Industrial Summit in Accra Tuesday. “We cannot develop a strong economy if we don’t factor in certain entities.”
Those entities include oil, gas and construction in the local market. He attested that through these capacities, the country can work to gain macroeconomic stability. Additionally, the role of energy in Ghana will aid in strengthening its infrastructure, Bawumia said.
Another issue the Vice President stood firmly on was the high cost of credit.
“Bringing interest rates down is ultimately a result of supply and demand. The supply and demand of savings will determine the interest rates in the economy.”
The solution, he said, would be to engineer more financial inclusion within the country. He pointed out that under the Akufo-Addo administration, some of that inclusivity has been met already, including the newly-rolled mobile money interoperability system, the incorporation of digital addresses and national ID cards.
These components are all critical factors that will bring down exorbitant interest rates.
Finally, Bauwmia acknowledged that the country is on target to fulfilling “Ghana Beyond Aid,” a new measure implemented by President Akufo-Addo, to manage natural resources without assistance from international partners.
Vice President Mahamadu Bauwmia
At a roundtable discussion at the “Africa CEOs Forum” in Switzerland last year, Akufo-Addo said: “We want to build a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana which looks to the use of its own resources. We want to build an economy that is not dependent on charity and handouts, but an economy that will look at the proper management of its resources as the way to engineer social and economic growth in our country.”
Bauwmia agrees. Alongside Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, who also spoke at the event, he said that local entrepreneurs would need to take more advantage of the country’s vast resources to compete internationally.
Kyerematen added to that sentiment suggesting that rather than focus on importing goods, Ghana must export just the same.
“Unless we take exports seriously, we cannot stabilize the currency,” said Kyerematen. “Fortunately for us, we can export duty-free products to the United States and the European Union, and enhance our foreign influence.”