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23.09.2003 Business & Finance

Transform 'Golden Age of Business' into reality

By GNA
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Kumasi, Sept. 23, GNA- Mr Akenten Appiah-Menkah, a renowned industrialist, has appealed to Ghanaian entrepreneurs to take the centre stage by making the President's policy of 'Golden Age of Business' a reality.

He said the Golden Age of Business declared by President J A Kufuor would be an illusion, unless it was centred on the Ghanaian entrepreneur and supported by foreign capital.

Mr Appiah-Menkah made the call in Kumasi on Tuesday when he interacted with the media after taking them round the premises of the Appiah Menkah Complex, a soap manufacturing company, which has resumed production after six years of closure.

He said the Golden Age of Business was not a poverty reduction intervention, but rather, a policy by the government to encourage private entrepreneurs to rejuvenate and expand their operations to create wealth and accelerate the industrial base of the country.

"This is the time for Ghanaian entrepreneurs to be supported to enable them to create international Ghanaian brand names", he said and appealed to industrialists to support the government to achieve this vision.

He outlined a three-phase programme for the Appiah Menka Company. The first phase, which has begun would create employment for 70 people while 200 people would be employed in 2004 when the big plant resumes operations.

Mr Appiah-Menkah said the third phase, including oil refining for export would employ 1,000 people by 2006, adding that, about 143 million dollars would be expected from the refined oil exports.

Mr Appiah-Menkah, who was also former President of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), said the government's promise of creating jobs for the youth was on course.

He said Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI) such as salt, cassava, oil palm plantation and textiles, as well as the decision by the government to seek funds to revamp viable but distressed companies, would create jobs for the youth.

However, the structures put in place by the government to solve the unemployment problem cannot be realised overnight, since the economy has been left to decay for quite a long time, he contended.

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