A former Trade and Industry Minister under the John Kufuor administration, Alan Kyerematen has charged politicians and public officials to work harder to achieve results needed for development.
He lamented over what he described as a gradual transformation of Ghana into a “NATO” nation – No Action Talk Only.
Speaking at the 2nd Graphic Business/Fidelity Breakfast Meeting in Accra Tuesday, Mr. Kyerematen called for a national policy direction, clear enough to everyone in the country with practical steps to achieve the goals and to usher the nation into desired development.
The theme for the forum is: “Maximizing the value of exports to improve Ghana’s trade balance.”
Mr. Kyeremanten suggested that an export-led growth strategy should be placed at the center of Ghana’s national development agenda.
“I’m beginning to lose appetite for gatherings of this nature because our country is gradually turning itself into a NATO country, no action, talk only.
“We’ve talked about it and we see elements of it in our national development agenda but obviously, I don’t think that is what we are pursuing,” he remarked.
He attributed China’s development into a global economic power house to exports and investments.
“The obvious, remarkable growth of China into a global economic power, was due to two things – exports and investments – and I think they did so with clarity by developing an export-led strategy agenda.”
Mr. Kyeremanten advised that the government and other relevant stakeholders give a clearer indication “that we are pursuing this export-led strategy….We need to identify new strategic pillars of growth which will diversify the export base of our country.”
“We started giving thought about what we could do beyond cocoa. It is an indictment on all of us that for over 100 years, we’ve not been able to think beyond cocoa in terms of pushing our export agenda.”
The new strategic pillars of growth gave birth to the Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) under which products such as industrial starch from cassava, oil palm garments for exports and industrial salt were explored.