President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana is working towards processing more of its cocoa, especially in the production of chocolate.

He said the country would no longer depend on the production and export of raw materials, including cocoa beans, but rather, focus on processing the raw materials. “We believe there can be no future prosperity for the Ghanaian people, in the short, medium or long term, if we continue to maintain economic structures that are dependent on the production and export of raw materials,” he said.

He, thus, reiterated the government’s commitment to add value to the country’s raw materials, industrialise and enhance agricultural productivity.

“This is the best way we can put Ghana at the high end of the value chain in the global market place, and create jobs for the teeming masses of Ghanaians,” he said

President Akufo-Addo said this last Friday when he delivered a statement at the Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation, in Bern, Switzerland, as part of a two-day State Visit to that country, the first in 60 years by a Head of State from sub-Saharan Africa.

The President urged Swiss investors to take advantage of Ghana’s unique position as host of the AfCFTA Secretariat to set up joint venture enterprises in the country and, thereby, access the huge market that the free trade area presents.

He said since assuming office in January 2017, his government had put in place a number of measures aimed at attracting investment to Ghana and stimulating the growth of the private sector.

“We have succeeded, over the last three years, in ensuring that all our macroeconomic indices are pointing in the right direction; cut our fiscal deficit; introduced a monetary policy that is stabilising the currency and reducing significantly the cost of borrowing; and have introduced a raft of tax cuts which are bringing relief to and encouraging businesses,” President Akufo-Addo said.

These interventions, he explained, had led to Ghana recording an annual GDP average growth rate of seven per cent since 2017, making Ghana, consistently, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the period. “We have one of the most business-friendly economies in Africa, evidenced in our status as the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in West Africa,” the President said.

Additionally, President Akufo-Addo told members of the Federal Council that Ghana had also been selected to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area, a market of some 1.2 billion people, with a combined GDP of US$3 trillion.

Describing it as “the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organisation”, he stressed that “our goal is to make Ghana the hub of trade in Africa.”

President Akufo-Addo reassured members of the Federal Assembly that Ghana was fully committed to a democratic present and future, where respect for individual liberties and human rights, the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability were at the core of the country’s body politic.

“Ghana stands shoulder to shoulder with Switzerland in our joint determination to promote and protect human rights across the globe,” he added.

The President continued, “I am hopeful that, as we shape the future of Ghana, and position Ghanaian enterprises to compete effectively on the world stage, we have friends, such as the Swiss Confederation, to support us in this objective. We are determined in Ghana to ensure that succeeding generations of Ghanaians do not become victims or pawns of the international economic order, but her beneficiaries.”

Describing the relations between Ghana and Switzerland as excellent, the President paid tribute to the work undertaken by the Basel Missionaries, who arrived in the then Gold Coast to undertake evangelical work.

The missionaries pioneered the establishment of educational and health institutions across the country; were also responsible for the translation of the Bible from English into some Ghanaian languages, he said.

“I have also personally benefitted from these very good relations because the first European Head of State to visit Ghana, when I assumed office as the fifth President of Ghana’s 4th Republic, on January 7, 2017, was your 91st President, Her Excellency Mrs Doris Leuthard,” he added.

Source : GT