The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has pledged to work with government to ensure the diversification of the Ghanaian economy to become globally competitive.

Country Director of UNIDO, Frank Bartels, said experience had shown that dependence on exploitation of natural mineral resources alone does not promote growth and development.

He was speaking at a press conference to announce an international conference being co-hosted by UNIDO and the Ministry of Trade and Industry on March 14 to March 15.

The conference on the theme, “Competitive Diversification:
Strategic Challenges in a Petroleum Economy,” will address
consequences of the resource boom in the Ghanaian economy.

It will bring together experts in the field of economic
diversification to share their experiences and lessons with policy
makers to enable them avoid the resource curse.

“The country must develop an industrial economy which is deep and
broad in order to become globally competitive,” Bartels said.

He said the conference would also discuss ways of broadening the
linkages between the resource sectors and value addition at the
downstream level in order to build a diversified economy.

“The links in the economy need much broader policy dialogue
involving knowledge-based organisations and institutions hence the
need for such a conference,” the country director explained.

Trade and industry minister Ms Hannah Tetteh said the country
needed to avoid the resource curse especially the Dutch Disease, by
diversifying the economy so that all sectors would grow at the same
pace as the oil and gas sector.

“Petroleum rich economies do not automatically lead to prosperity,
but the choices a country makes in making sure that the resources are
managed well are what precipitate prosperity,” she said.

Ms Tetteh said the conference would also discuss how the petroleum
economy would feed into other sectors of the economy to make for even