President John Mahama has said the programmes and projects his government has executed in the past three and half years would inure to the benefit of Ghanaians.
He said the biggest investments in the history of Ghana, which would transform the lives of the citizens, occurred under his leadership, notable among them, the $7 billion ENI Sankofa project in the Western Region.
The facility, which has the capacity of producing 180 million standard cubic feet per day (mcf/d) of gas, would create over 5,000 direct jobs to Ghanaians as well as ensure the reliability of power for industry and commerce.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Accra Digital Center Wednesday, President Mahama said Ghana is gaining the reputation as one of the safest countries to do business in Africa.
"Only last week, Ghana was adjudged as the best place to do business in West Africa ahead of Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire. In the same week, we moved up 13 places on the global ease-of-doing-business index," he said.
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With the rate of unemployment in the country estimated to rise in the coming years, sections of Ghanaians are doubtful of government’s initiatives at job creation.
According to critics of government, the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) and the Youth Employment Agency; both initiatives aimed at creating jobs for the youth are only windowing moves to create jobs for members of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused government of collapsing local businesses and driving out foreign businesses with its "mismanagement" of the economy.
But President Mahama said there is enough evidence to show that his government has created several jobs in the last four years.
“In the last four years, a total of 69 companies have registered and set up under the Free Zones Board. These companies have invested a total of over $1 billion (U$1,080,771,488) and currently employ 21,354 workers right here in Ghana,” he said.
He added that government has extended direct support totaling GH¢400 million which has been given directly to private companies and organization under EDAIF support and the Skills Development Fund (SDF).
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“Companies in the Agricultural, textile and pharmaceutical sectors have benefitted from this support which has led to the creation of thousands of jobs,” he added.
President Mahama cited the Accra Digital Center which has been estimated to create 12,600 direct jobs to demonstrate his commitment to creating more jobs in the coming years.
Regarding the Ghana cedi performance against the international currencies, he said the currency which nosedived in the past has stabilised and is now among the “best-performing currencies in Africa.”
This, he said forms part of government policies to strengthen the Ghanaian economy for businesses both local and foreign to thrive in the country.
According to him, the "resolution of the power sector challenges encountered in the early part of my administration has also provided a basis for further improvement in the economic environment as businesses can now be guaranteed access to stable, reliable power.”
“After stabilizing the economy, we expect Ghana to return to the path of accelerated growth starting from next year and all indications are that this economy will grow by above eight percent next year and continue to post high growth in the years ahead,” he said.
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