President of Ghana‎, Nana Akufo-Addo‎ has stressed that Nigeria needs to get it’s policy formulation and implementation right, by necessitating value addition, particularly in the oil sector.
 
Akufo-Addo, who was guest speaker at the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN 46th annual general meeting and lecture in Lagos, with the theme; “Mainstreaming Policies To Catalyze Industrial Renaissance”, was represented by Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Senior minister of Ghana, noted that Nigeria as a big brother to other African countries, need to lead in the area of policies that would make Africa economically sufficient and self-sustaining.
 
‎”Our lazy approach of always rushing to the international market to sell our resources in their raw state which fetch us peanuts must stop. It is far better to leave our resources untapped till our future generations rise up to the challenge and conscientiously develop the best policy-mix that prioritises industrialization as the most convenient cause to drive the much needed effects in our socio-economic development”.
 
‎”Why should Nigeria find it difficult to maximize the fruit of their oil industry for the benefit of her people? Our policies must of necessity move in the direction of value addition – i.e. processing of our raw materials.‎ It is all a function of how defective we have developed the appropriate policy framework to support institutionalization of mechanisms that effectively trigger a more holistic and functional industrialization policy and drive”.
 
Akufo-Addo also added that beyond policies, Africa needs to have the right economic pilots and advisory council and end an era where weak‎ boards are appointed to run strategic economic positions.
 
‎”One other challenge we face in our industrial thinking is our inability to forge and institute a strong and relevant corporate governance culture, systems and processes to drive the purpose, strategy and the vision of our business models. This often lead to the creation of weak, irrelevant boards of governors who are active and rubber stamping of what has been so determined rather than giving a strong and effective responses to counter decisions that are not in the interest of the organizational development”.
 
“Having effective policy alone is not enough. We should have men and women of substance who are resolute and driven by results and understand the policy framework guiding the business environment to play their effective advisory roles for our investment. Let us therefore begin to be circumspect with those we put at the helm of affairs as board members to advise us on the productive application of our investment”.
 
The Ghanaian ‎President did not fail to address the trade issues affecting Africa in general, while mentioning models that could propel the African continent to economic viability.
 
‎”Africa has a population of about 1.3 billion people. Yet our combined GDP is about $2.2 trillion. When we compare to USA with a population of about 328 million people with a GDP of about $18.3 trillion. Same with Europe with a population of about 743 million and a GDP of about $17.3 trillion. By population, Africa is about 4 times that of the USA. Yet, USA’s GDP is about 8times that of Africa. Yet, we are the most endowed continent on earth.
 
“This means that Africa must begin to trade among ourselves concentrating on areas of comparative advantage. We must begin to break the trade barriers among ourselves and form alliances with the various countries Associations of Industries and Chambers of Commerce of the various countries. Through these associations, we may get to know the needs of the various countries and where they are opportunities of trade”.
 
On the ‎Africa Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Akufo-Addo maintained that, the agreement is “critical to our economic development especially its ability to boost private sector multinational businesses within the framework of Public-Private Partnerships in a free movement of goods, services and people”. But, “it is important that we do not rush into taking decisions that will not have the buy-in from all critical stakeholders who drive business growth in Africa”.
 
‎”I welcome the organizers of the AfCFTA to adopt the bold strategy to undertake a wider consultation with all stakeholders in the massive sensitization and road show programme across Africa, and I am happy that this activity is done in consultation with and within the framework of the African Union Commission of Trade and Industry”, he maintained.
 
“Once we get both inter- and intra-Africa trade, investment and industrialization policy mix on the right tangent, we stand the chance of leading the new frontier to affect global industrial decisions for the interest of our people”.
 
 
Source: The Ripples

Ivory Coast and Ghana, the world’s largest cocoa producers, said they will work together to derive more value from growing beans after a slump in prices hurt their economies.

The two West African nations will better coordinate the production and marketing of cocoa while boosting the countries’ capacity to process beans, Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara and his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, told reporters in a joint briefing on Friday. The countries requested the African Development Bank to do a study on how they can reap the most benefit from their cocoa sectors, Ouattara said after a meeting between the leaders in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan.

“We don’t want to export cocoa beans. We want to export processed cocoa,” he said. “That is what we want at the end.”

Cocoa futures in London are trading near the lowest in four years as a rebound in production is leaving the global market oversupplied. Plummeting prices are hurting the finances of producing nations and incomes for hundreds of thousands small-scale farmers.

Ivory Coast, the top grower, had to reduce the price paid to farmers by 36 percent for the smaller harvest which started last month and trimmed its 2017 budget by a 10th. Ghana lost almost $1 billion in export value because of lower prices, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the chief executive officer of the country’s cocoa regulator, said in April.

 

Credit: Bloomberg

Image 20170306 20749 zmeu5s
A member of Ghana’s navy attends celebrations in Accra to mark the country’s 60th independence anniversary. EPA/Christian Thompson

Abdul-Jalilu Ateku, University of Nottingham

Black Africa’s first independent nation celebrated its 60th independence anniversary this week. A pioneer in many ways, Ghana was the first country in sub Saharan Africa to secure independence from Britain on March 6, 1957.

Ghana’s post-independence experience is also in many ways the African post-colonial story. President Kwame Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organisation of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union. He was also the most influential voice in the Pan-African movement in the early years of independence.

The Pan-Africanist flame burnt brightest at the height of agitation for independence, drawing in the likes of Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi and Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. But the Pan-Africanist rhetoric was soon extinguished as its leaders secured independence for their countries.

Ghana’s anniversary is well worth celebrating. Over the last six decades Ghana has transitioned from military dictatorships to a well functioning democracy while it’s economy has seen both boom and near bust. Its story offers both lessons and hope that Africa can fashion its own dignified path to peace and democracy.

The early decades

Nkrumah’s vision for Ghana was founded on the nationalist demands that drove agitation against colonialism. He sought to steer his young country to significant progress in health and education. Also on the new leader’s agenda were other social and economic issues confronting the country.

This vision was embedded in his seven-year development plan presented to parliament on March 11, 1964. In his view, the 1963-1970 plan would ultimately,

bring Ghana to the threshold of a modern state based on a highly organised and efficient agricultural and industrial programme.

Nkrumah believed he could completely obliterate the dependency-driven colonial economy he inherited which reduced Ghana to an importer of finished goods sold at exorbitant prices and exporter of raw materials bought cheaply. In its place would be an industrialised economy modelled along a socialist production and distribution system which would make Ghana self-sufficient and self-reliant.

But we will never know what all his success would have looked like. Nkrumah’s vision was cut short by a pro-western military coup in 1966. The planning of it was known to the US which considered Nkrumah a significant threat to its interests in Africa.

The acting special assistant for National Security Affairs R.W. Komer praised the coup as

…another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African.

Some 50 years after his overthrow, however, Nkrumah remains a household name in Ghana because of his investments in education, health and energy. Many of his contributions to other important sectors, such as the building of the Akosombo Dam, the Accra-Tema Motorway, the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, University of Cape Coast, continue to support the economy today.

Nkrumah’s overthrow in 1966 was followed by four military takeovers in 1972, 1978, 1979 and 1981. Two democratically elected governments established in 1969 and 1979 were overthrown by the military. Eventually, the current succession of democratic elections was established in 1993.

In its early years Ghana’s flirtation with socialism dominated its politics. However, the civilian governments that followed steered the country onto a capitalist economic path in which the Bretton Woods institutions often dictated the pace.

But the country has been unable to achieve the envisioned self-reliant and self-sufficient economic policies. But it’s not all gloom and doom.

Democracy success story

Ghana has made remarkable progress as one of the success stories in Africa’s democratic project over the past 25 years. Political power has changed three times – all important milestones;

  • from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2001;

  • from the ruling NPP to the NDC in 2009; and

  • from the ruling NDC back to the NPP in January, 2017.

With these three turnovers under the belt, Ghana’s democracy has met and exceeded Huntington’s “two turnover tests” thesis making Ghana a satisfactorily consolidated democracy.

Ghanaians have cast aside the authoritarian politics of the past. In its place is expanded political space which has helped to shape and broaden the frontiers of rights. Free speech and association is guaranteed, civil society organisations have greater influence over policy making and media is free to perform its gate-keeping.

It’s no coincidence that Ghana has emerged as one of the most peaceful nations on the globe. According to the 2016 Global Peace Index, Ghana – ranked 44th – is more peaceful than France – ranked 46th – and the United Kingdom – ranked 47th positions.

A nation in good health

Ghana has also made progress in numerous measures of well-being, especially poverty reduction and the provision of health and education is exemplary. It’s among the few countries around the world that have recorded significant reduction in poverty.

The health care scorecard is one of the most impressive in sub-Saharan Africa too. Ghana is one of the few countries with a universal health insurance scheme. And there’s a great deal to show from investments in the health sector. The country ranked 7th out of 153 countries on measles immunisation between 1990 and 2008, and while the regional average of measles vaccination rate stood at 75%, Ghana recorded 91%.

But many challenges remain.

Yo-yo economic growth

Economic growth has been swinging like a pendulum. Over a decade ago the country’s economy was growing at 7%, then roaring ahead with a growth rate of over 14% in 2011. Since then growth has declined considerably. In 2015 it expanded by just 4%.

Currently, Ghana is under an IMF bail-out programme because of its inability to contain its huge budget deficit, rising inflation and falling currency.

The jury is still out on whether the country can turn its economic fortunes around again. Unemployment rates are alarmingly high – at an estimated 48% – and the country faces a power crisis, high depreciation of the currency and high interest rates.

Nevertheless, Ghana is still very much the rising star in some spheres – just struggling in others like many of its African peers.

Abdul-Jalilu Ateku, PhD Candidate in International Relations, University of Nottingham

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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