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24.06.2005 General News

Ghana needs massive investment capital - Kufuor

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Akosombo (E/R), June 24, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday said Ghana would need massive injections of investment capital of about one billion dollars a year for the next three to four years for its socio-economic development. He said this would support some of the Government's programmes to generate the kind of growth that would propel the nation to a middle-level income status by 2015.

President Kufuor said this when addressing the opening session of the two-day Sixth Ghana Investor's Advisory Council (GIAC) meeting at Akosombo in the Eastern Region. He said the Government was making efforts in the private sector to improve accessibility to credit and announced that there were loans for micro, small and medium enterprises. He said a Micro-Finance and Small Loan Schemes had been set up for this facility and urged major private sector operators to look more to the Stock Exchange.

President Kufuor said the Government had the belief that Ghana must develop the culture of credit and of partnerships to benefit from the economies of scale. He said the private sector would soon ensure more service providers adding that the Barclays Bank was contemplating to set up an International Financing Centre. In addition, the Bank was also developing a major mortgage-financing scheme for the construction of affordable housing that would be on stream by the end of the year.

President Kufuor said the Government was also facilitating the partnership between the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and a Malaysian company to build affordable houses for Ghanaians. He said good governance would continue to characterise all operations of the Government in all sectors of the economy. President Kufuor said the Government recognised the importance of best practices within the Civil Service in meeting these goals. He said that was why the Ministry of Public Sector reform was established to reform the public sector and make it a rewarding career option and also responsive to the needs of the private sector and see itself as a partner of the private sector for the nation's economic growth. "These are some of the challenges that must engage your attention during your deliberations. Our success at overcoming them will make Ghana's Golden Age of Business self-evident to all. We cannot and dare not fail," he added.

The Council would consider the progress report of its Five Consultative Working Groups made up of the Financial Sector Reform Group; Customs, Civil Service, Trade Facilitation Industrial and Trade Policy Reforms Group; Land Reform Group; Agriculture, Agri-Business Group and the Labour Reforms Group.

The GIAC chaired by President Kufuor holds its meetings twice a year to discuss the economic direction of the country with a select group of experts in a dispassionate manner. The objective of the meeting is to provide feedback on current policy reforms and their impact on the investor climate and identify priority areas for change while suggesting solutions based on practical investor experience.

It would increase the Government's understanding of factors that drive investors to or hinder them from Ghana and establish a platform for the Government to demonstrate that the country was ready for business.

Observers from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC), Private Enterprises Foundation (PEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are attending the meeting. President Kufuor would chair the plenary session that would see the participants identify priority issues, develop their views and propose new approaches and solutions.