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06.08.2004 Business & Finance

Government embarks on industrial reforms

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Ho, Aug. 6, GNA - The Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (PSI) has embarked on industrial reforms and an accelerated growth programme, geared towards an efficient export and domestic market industrialisation.

Mr Ismael Ashitey, Minister of State at the Ministry, who announced this in Ho on Thursday, said the programme would include agro-processing, the establishment of Export Trade Houses and re-capitalisation of distressed but potentially viable enterprises.

He was delivering the keynote address at the Fourth School of Engineering Research Retreat (SERR 4) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

Mr Ashittey, called for closer interactions between engineering, science and technology, research and development institutions and the private sector to ensure the success of the programme. The four-day retreat, which is being attended by 70 participants, comprising university lecturers and entrepreneurs is on the theme: " The Golden Age of Business: The Engineers' Perspective".

Mr Ashitey urged the private sector, to take advantage of the emerging opportunities to expand their businesses, since "all bottlenecks to doing business are being reviewed to enhance efficiency of the private sector".

He announced that the Ministry had sought assistance from UNIDO to re-equip and re-engineer the Suame Industrial Technology Transfer Unit and the Technology Consultancy Centre, pioneered by KNUST, to remain as a focal point for training micro, small and medium enterprises. Professor Ebenezer A. Jackson, Dean, School of Engineering, KNUST, called on industry to network and foster a closer collaboration with academicians.

"Industry's dependence on academia should be a top priority, if the aspirations of the Golden Age of Business is to be realised."

Prof Jackson said the University was forging technological collaboration with the Volta River Authority, Electricity Company of Ghana, Scancom Limited, Ghana Telecom, Cocoa Processing Company Limited, Tema Oil Refinery, Ghacem, Unilever Ghana Limited, Ghana Water Company Limited and Nestle Ghana Limited.

Dr Kobla A. Dzisi, Head of Agriculture Engineering Department of the KNUST and Chairman of the retreat, said the workshop was aimed at establishing a corporate partnership with industrial establishments. He said focusing on teaching and research activities at the expense of industry was a drawback to the advancement of science and technology.

Dr Dzisi appealed to industry to come on board and sponsor research activities of the universities.

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