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12.11.2008 Elections

I'll Prioritise Domestic Investment, Job Creation

By Our Reporter - newtimesonline.com

Kwasi Amoafo-Yeboah, the only independent presidential candidate in the December poll, has outlined what he calls a “master plan” to promote and protect domestic investment and create jobs if elected.

He told the Ghana News Agency that the next president of Ghana should be one who understands that the recent events in global financial and oil markets have left Ghana with no choice but to depend on internally generated funds to support her development agenda, saying that “I see that as an opportunity to create more jobs for our people”.

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah was responding to questions raised at the recent presidential debate organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs for the four leading presidential candidates.

The questions focused on job creation, foreign direct investment (FDI), food security, law and order, energy, oil revenue, maternal and infant mortality, the rights of women and children, regional trade and education.  

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah observed that there were four main sources of revenue for any developing country like Ghana, namely FDI and loans, grants, windfall funds like revenue from oil discovery and internally generated funds through the economic empowerment of the masses.

“Under the current global circumstances, FDI/loans, grants have all depleted and the windfall oil money is also fast depleting with the sharp fall in world crude oil prices from $140 to $62, leaving Ghana with only internal sources of funds,” he said.

Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah noted that internally generated funds could only increase when domestic investors had the assurance that their investment risks would be effectively covered through a state guarantee.

“This is where I come in with my comprehensive Transferable Tax Credit (TTC) system for both domestic and foreign investors to cover for their risks in times of crisis,” he said.

He explained that under the TTC system, the state would provide a cover for the risks of private investment and also make it possible for investors to either transfer their tax credit to other investors and collect cash in times of crisis or use their cover as collateral to raise more funds for investment when need be.

That way, Mr. Amoafo-Yeboah said,  more people would be encouraged to invest their money in the country. In the long-term, more jobs would be created, profits would be internalised, increased purchasing power would be spread wider while living standards of the people would be improved.

He noted that it was unfortunate that at a time when governments elsewhere were focusing on how to provide protection for the private sector in the ultimate interest of their people's, governments in Ghana had been pre-occupied with providing a conducive environment for foreign investors at the expense of domestic investors.

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