The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) has called on Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to engage it on the details of his vision for Ghana.
This follows the presentation of the Vice President’s “vision” for the country last Wednesday ahead of the 2024 General Election.
Dr Humphrey Ayim-Darke, President of AGI, said doing so would help in aligning Dr Bawumia’s vision with the needs of industry, and propel the government to achieve its development goals.
He was speaking with the Ghana News Agency on Monday, February 12, noting that the Association had experts and data to assist in making the intended policies achievable.
“You can see a lot of innovations in the vision – leveraging on natural resources to create a new bank for the mining industry, flat tax rate, scrapping of e-levy, VAT on electricity, emissions tax, which are laudable,” he said.
“The intended policies are welcoming, but the devil is always in the detail. We look forward to engaging the Vice President and his team on the how [to achieve them], and see how we can align it within this transitional period of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme,” he noted.
Dr Ayim-Darke said the Association stood ready to have a committee help in shaping policies in the manifesto of not only Dr Bawumia, but all other candidates for the presidential elections.
“The experiential knowledge is crucial to all the theoretical ones we have. So, if they welcome us, we’ll let our colleagues in some sectors with expertise and research papers that have been tested and tried in other jurisdictions engage with them,” the AGI president said.
“AGI, Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the ISSER and other institutions do a lot of research and have data that when tapped, would help project trends that would shape economic decisions to make the real economy run,” he said.
Dr Ayim-Darke highlighted some of the proposed policy solutions by Dr Bawumia, which he said when implemented, would be beneficial to industries in the country.
He stated for example that, once the country was able to implement a harmonisation scheme at the port for both Ghana and Togo with common charges, smuggling of textiles, cooking oil, and fertilizer would be curtailed.
The AGI president also noted that the intention to create Special Economic Zones (Free Zones) to enhance economic activities, increase exports, reduce smuggling and create jobs in Ghana’s major border towns such as Aflao, Paga, Elubo, Sankasi and Tatale was commendable.
He asked all presidential aspirants to have intentional policies on high commercial agriculture farming that would have aggregate impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce forex pressures on importation.