Accra, March 3, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama on Thursday stressed the need to synchronise traditional forms of technology with modern Information Communication Technology for accelerated growth and development.
He said enterprising traditional artisans had used their skills in the past to transform the country's local raw materials into beautiful articles, which greatly supported industrial growth after independence. However, not enough attention was given to sustain the rapid spate of industrialization leading to the demise of the sector, which was a major source of employment and a potential foreign exchange earner. The Vice President said this when he opened the sixth Ghana Industrial and Technology Exhibition (INDUTECH 2005) at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre.
The exhibition, which is on the theme, "Transforming Ghana's Industrial Sector through Information and Communication Technology" has attracted over 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
Vice President Mahama said in order to revitalize the sector to stimulate development; government had launched the private sector development strategy and trade policy, which provided clear guidelines for implementing Ghana's domestic and international trade agenda. "They are also designed to ensure a consistent and stable policy environment within which the private sector can operate effectively and with certainty," he said.
Vice President Mahama said for us to achieve our development goals and objectives there was the need to grow the economy through increased international trade and added that this would largely depend on the country's ability to add value to its raw materials. It is in this connection that the policy had been so designed to enhance industrial and agricultural production boost employment and wealth for all Ghanaians and provide fair prices, better quality and broader range of products.
On ICT development, he said Africa has not capitalised on its tools in enhancing livelihoods, and creating new business opportunities and cross-border linkages within the continent.
"If we intend to manage our economies effectively in this rapidly changing environment, then we must embrace ICT as a means to assist the development, implementation and monitoring of policies, plans and programmes," Vice President Aliu said.
He urged the private sector to make conscious effort to establish a long-term vision for the development of ICT that would enable the sector to plan progressively a new integrated approach to linking the various sectors of the economy.
The Vice President said the exhibition should afford us with the opportunity to showcase variety of Ghanaian made products that could be traded not only on the local market but also on the export market. Mr Alan Kyeremanten, the Trade Industry Minister said the role of industry was critical for the country's quest to move from stabilization to accelerated growth.
He said government this year embarked on an aggressive promotion of made in Ghana goods and urged exhibitors to take advantage of the fair to build contacts for joint ventureship.
Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson, President of the Association of Ghana Industries, organizers of the fair said the Association hopes to extend the exhibition of Ghanaian products in West African countries to other nations in Europe.
He called on government to support the initiative of the AGI to enable Ghanaian companies to penetrate the markets of developed countries.
Mr John Atta-Nyamekye, Chairman of the National Planning Committee assured exhibitors of strong security during the period of the fair. The fair, slated to take place from March 3
to March 14 2005, would offer opportunities to participating ICT companies to demonstrate their capabilities as a means of supporting and driving industrial development in Ghana.
A National INDUTECH Awards Night would be held at the State House to honour companies and individuals whose performance in the industrial sector have impacted positively on the economy.
Prior to his speech, Vice President Aliu received a birthday chorus from the Winneba Youth who were present to grace the occasion. The Vice President was born on March 03, 1946 in Yendi, in the Northern Region.