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11.12.2007 Business & Finance

NGO appeals to government to impose import tariffs on goods


The Foundation for Grass Roots Initiatives in Africa (GRASSROOTSAFRICA) and representatives of civil society organisations in Bolgatanga have appealed to the government to impose import tariffs on goods that can be produced in the country.

They asked that prices for locally produced goods be stabilized and credit facilities made accessible and affordable to local investors.

These were contained in a communiqué after a one day training workshop on the 'International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and their impact on livelihoods in Ghana', organized by GRASSROOTSAFRICA, an NGO that works to improve the lives of the poor and disadvantaged.

It appealed to the Government to make the provision of water to the three northern regions a policy priority and lift tariffs on the importation of water services equipment.

"The provisioning of water services should be the responsibility of the state and the management of water facilities and resources remain in the hands of the state", they said.

Participants expressed concern that trade liberalization policies rather had a negative impact on the people of northern Ghana and reduced agricultural productivity, thus causing perennial food shortages and malnutrition in the area.

It had also opened up the Ghanaian market to all sorts of imported goods that had negatively influenced the consumption pattern of the people.

Mr. Rudolf Amenga-Etego, Executive Director of Grass Roots Africa, said while there was a general agreement that trade could be a powerful tool for development, rapid trade liberalization did not on its own automatically lead to positive development outcomes.

He said countries should be able to choose the trade policy option that best suited their development needs.

"It is increasingly recognized that when countries apply trade liberalization before they have consolidated strong economies and institutions, de-industrialisation often ensues", he said.

Mr. Isaac Nsor Amoah, Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, it was crucial for all Ghanaians to advocate for an improvement in the relationship between the country and IFIs in order that a more fruitful development regime would be established and maintained.