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06.01.2006 Business & Finance

Strong and credible AGI important for industrial growth

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Accra, Jan 06, GNA - Mr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, the new President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), has stressed the need to create a strong, relevant and credible association, saying that was the only way to make industry a vehicle for growth and development. He has therefore asked members to rededicate themselves to the cause of the association and not limit their commitment to only fulfilling their financial obligations.

"I appeal to you to see beyond this. There are many fine, experienced and knowledgeable people involved in industry in Ghana. The association needs your time and expertise to help achieve our aims." Mr Oteng-Gyasi was speaking at the investiture of new executives of the association following their election in November last year. Mr Prince Kofi Kludjeson, the incumbent, was defeated in the elections.

Mr Oteng-Gyasi spoke about ethics and morality in business, especially in relation to corruption and corporate governance, and called on members to ensure that their business activities were above reproach and impeccable.

In this connection, he said, the AGI ethics committee would be revived to promote the ideals of good business practices and corporate governance.

Besides, a constitutional review committee would be tasked to examine the AGI constitution with the view to enhancing it and making the association more efficient and forward looking.

Touching on policy, Mr Oteng-Gyasi said to enhance the partnership between the government and industry, it could be possible in some instances to discuss and agree on policy with industry before it is announced with the common objective of economic development. "This does not take the prerogative of governing from government but rather broadens the process."

He expressed the willingness of the AGI to cooperate with various ministries in specific areas and mentioned collection of data on industrial production and employment as one such area of collaboration. Mr Oteng-Gyasi appealed to development partners to provide both material and financial support to the association to deepen its advocacy work.

Mr Kludjeson recounted the success chalked by the association in its bid to promote Made in Ghana products through solo exhibitions in West Africa.

He lauded the good rapport that exists between the government and the association, saying it was one sure way to meet the needs of industry.

Mr Alan Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry, said 2006 was the "Action Year of Industrialisation" and urged captains of industry to respond positively to policy reforms initiated by the government to boost the growth of the industrial sector. Nana Owusu Afari, Chairman and Managing Director of Afariwa Group, was named the First Vice President, Ms Leticia Osafo Addo, Managing Director of Foods and Spices Limited, the 2nd Vice President and the position of Treasurer went to Mr Sammy Appenting, Managing Director of Joissam Ghana Limited.