25 June 2018

Africa: Support Indigenous Financial Institutions to Support Economic Transformation Agenda--President Akufo-Addo Urges African Countries

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described as unacceptable the emergence of foreign banks on the African continent which make huge profits, but contribute less to the development of the economies they operate in.

"I don't have a difficulty with people wanting to make money, but I do have a problem with making money in an environment whereby not significant contribution to the transformation of the economy is not being made," President Akufo-Addo emphasized.

He, therefore, urged African nations to develop and implement policies that would promote the growth of home-grown financial institutions to spur on the continent's transformation agenda.

President Akufo-Addo reminded participants that African had all it needed to transition from a state of poverty to that of prosperity and that there was no reason for Africa to be where it was presently--with the continent holding 50 percent of the world's arable land, over 30 percent of the remaining minerals in the world, and with the youngest and most vibrant population of all the continents.

He noted, however, that African leaders were now confronted with the reality that required ensuring that key important paradigms of development were observed and followed on keenly.

That paradigm, he said, was the role that governments ought to play in the process of transformation by building strong economies, based on sound macro-economics, good educational reforms and skills acquisition and a skilled workforce.

President Akufo-Addo, was addressing participants at the 2nd African Economic Transformation hosted by the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) in Accra on Thursday.

He noted that empowering Ghana's indigenous banks to grow and be strong enough to take up the role of providing the financial wherewithal to spur the transformation was an area that required important policy-making.

He said his Government was, therefore, making efforts to empower the country's indigenous banks, as without banks that were prepared to finance growth, industrial and agricultural initiatives, it would be difficult for the country to make the transition that was being sought.

President Akufo-Addo told the forum that his government had placed priority on sanitizing the macro-economy of the country, with indications proving that these policies were achieving the purpose of a more robust economy, with significant reductions in inflation, interest rates, deficits and national debt.

He said significant progress had been made in the management of the national economy and in laying the foundation for an attractive investment destination for Ghana.

"We have begun very significant expansion of education system through the Free Senior High School programme, embarked on a serious reorganization of the system of vocational training, and reforming the educational curricular to respond to the needs of the world of work, "he said, adding "... we believe the good policies would lead to the transformation of the country."

On the panel at the forum were Rwandan President, Paul Kagame; Cote d'Ivoire's Vice President, Daniel Kablan Duncan; and Nigerian business mogul, Aliko Dangote.

Mr Kagame, on his part, stressed the need for Africa to have a mind-set that moved away from discussing the problems of the Continent and focused on implementing strategies that would propel it into prosperity.

Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)


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