14 February 2013

Ghana: Government Spells-Out Industrial Policy

The government has spelt out an industrial policy, which is within the context of Ghana's long-term strategic vision of achieving middle income status by 2020.

The plan seeks to transform Ghana into an industry-driven economy, capable of delivering decent jobs, with widespread, equitable and sustainable growth and development.

These are contained in the government's industrial policy document, obtained from the Ministry of Trade and Industry by the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Wednesday.

It said the industrial policy is designed to promote increased competitiveness and enhanced industrial production, with increased employment and prosperity for all Ghanaians.

The policy also seeks to provide a broader range of fair-priced, better quality products for the domestic and international markets, with key development objectives as to expand productive employment and technological capacity in the manufacturing sector.

It will also promote agro-based industrial development, as well as promote spatial distribution of industries, in order to achieve reduction in poverty and income inequalities.

The policy provides clear and transparent guidelines for the implementation of the government's industrial development agenda, with particular respect to the growth, diversification, upgrading and competitiveness of Ghana's manufacturing sector.

It is fully aligned with Ghana's trade policy, reinforcing each other in ensuring that a consistent and stable environment is in place for accelerated industrial development.

Though the two policies are consistent with the underlying principle of private sector development that requires the government to provide the enabling environment for the private sector to effectively perform, the industrial policy would specifically, serve as a major engine of growth in a dynamic and competitive economy,

The industrial policy seeks to address an array of challenges faced by the manufacturing sector that affects quality and quantity of production. The document notes that in order to become competitive in the global and domestic market, Ghanaian manufacturers must be able to offer high quality products, processes and services, and be empowered to effectively engage in competitive trade, and take advantage of opportunities to expand and retain market shares.

According to the government, the full spectrum of industrial policy instruments across 21 policy thematic areas will be implemented. The thematic areas have been categorised into four main components, namely: Production and Distribution; Technology and Innovation; Incentives and Regulatory Regime; and Cross-cutting Issues.

The government said to ensure clarity of presentation, each policy thematic area had been analyzed on the basis of policy context, policy objective and policy prescriptions. This would ensure that the specific policy prescriptions to be adhered to, are not only clearly identified, but also properly understood within their relevant context.

The industrial policy provides essentially, broad guidelines for concrete action in the field of industry.

The actual implementation would be effected through an Industrial Sector Support Programme (ISSP), with a detailed Action Plan and Budget, specifying activities to be undertaken annually. The ISSP would be driven primarily by the MOTI, but would be coordinated through a cross-Ministerial Industrial Policy Coordinating Committee, in recognition of its cross-cutting nature.

According to the government, the success of the industry policy would be measured by the extent to which it empowers the private sector predominantly, but not limited to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to expand and create opportunities for employment and reduce poverty and spatial inequalities in Ghana.

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