Government is open to ideas, recommendations and suggestions that would help shape the formulation and implementation of social and economic policies that would lead to the rapid transformation of the Ghanaian economy and set it on the foot of prosperity, Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has indicated.
According to him, government considers consistent engagement and dialogue with relevant stakeholders as key to the structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy going forward.
The Vice-President made these comments at the launch of the Economic Club of Ghana in Accra on Wednesday.
He noted that Ghana’s pursuit of building a self-sustaining economy, independent of aid, would require the active participation of, particularly, the private sector and all Ghanaians to make it a reality.
The objective of government to the realisation of this dream, however, is to pool ideas that would help build a resilient and stable economy on the strength of its own human and non-human resources, guided by well-thought-out policies and strategies.
“Our charge is how to get over our aid and donor dependency syndrome that has become so pervasive in almost all aspects of our nation building, ironically against the background of our rich natural resources and intellectual capacity”, he noted.
He thus considered the launch of the club as timely since it could serve as a valuable source of ideas and well-researched innovative thinking that would complement existing efforts at building a resilient economy.
He noted that earlier consultative stakeholder meetings to design the plan for agricultural transformation, and another in enhancing value addition in the country’s extractive sector are indicative of government’s resolve to make such engagement a major feature of the governance processes.
He challenged the club to be non-partisan, and to be firm and unwavering in their analysis and discourse in helping solve Ghana’s problems.
“Let your commentary be a source of public economic education, not just to score points. Let us think outside the box of standard economic paradigms. Let us ask old questions anew and seek new solutions. That is the recipe for progress, innovation and growth”, he said.
Guest speaker, Professor Kwasi Botchwey also noted that the club has the potential to be highly important to elevate national debate on the direction of the Ghanaian economy.
He bemoaned the polarisation and partisan nature of public discourse, which has since become a disincentive for many to freely share their thoughts on national issues.
He was hopeful that the club will offer that platform for people to free their tongues to enlighten the public debate.
Giving antecedents of Ghana’s economic journey post-independence, he recounted how Ghana was cited as a model colony with a huge cushion of foreign reserves of about three years of import cover at independence, but lamented on how the country squandered all that through inappropriate policies and rent-seeking ventures.
He was, however, hopeful of recovery with the requisite engagements to right the wrongs.