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26.02.2009 General News

Government seeks partnership in developing indigenous sector


Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday reiterated government's commitment in seeking partnership with international companies as a launch pad in creating an indigenous private sector, especially in the areas of agriculture and energy.

He said government was seeking to build partnership with investors instead of relying on the “isolated stand-alone foreign option” in a bid towards industrializing indigenous businesses through technology transfer.

Interacting with an Italian business delegation at the Castle, Osu, Vice President Mahama urged them to partner with government in establishing a tomato processing plant in the northern part of the country.

The visit of the delegation from the cities of Bitonto and San Marino was to explore business opportunities in Ghana, and Vice President responded to their mission by drawing attention to possible cooperation in the energy, waste management and agriculture sectors.

He said in view of the reliance of the average Ghanaian family on tomato puree as an ingredient in their diet, any investment in that sector could result in “super profit”.

Vice President Mahama said opportunities in the technology sector are equally rewarding, drawing the delegation's attention to the massive profits that investors in the telecommunications had reaped in Ghana in recent times.

Similarly, he said, the businessmen could consider tapping into Ghana's energy and agriculture sectors where the Italians had made prior investments in conjunction with the Volta River Authority.

Vice President Mahama, making a joke about the level of filth in Ghana, spoke about moves by government to generate power from refuse and asked the Italian businessmen to consider that as a viable investment opportunity.

Mr. Mahama also discussed the possibility of the delegation teaming up with government to tackle the dearth of housing units in the country.

He said Ghana currently had a housing deficit of 500,000 units of which 50,000 are needed urgently.

Mr Fabrizo de Agostini, Italian Ambassador in Ghana, re-echoed the commitment of his government to the development efforts of the country.

Ghana's Consul in the Italian city of San Marino, Mr Francesco Monici, briefed the Vice President on the areas of economic cooperation between the two countries and promised to convey government's sentiments to the Italian financial community.

Mr Luigi Perrini, Mayor of Bitonto, extended an invitation to the Vice President to that city so as to enhance the cultural exchanges and economic ties between the two countries.