Companies ranked in the Ghana Club 100 are recognised as the top echelon of businesses operating in Ghana. It is therefore no mean feat to be a part of this group. On behalf of the people of Ghana and myself, I congratulate all companies that have made it to this year’s GC 100.
The theme for this year’s GC 100 event is ‘Sustainable Agriculture: the bedrock for Ghana’s Industrialization drive’. This theme is critical in developing a Ghana Beyond Aid, a position taken by my Government to create an economy capable of sustaining itself without the over-reliance on foreign assistance and grants.
This policy is geared at increasing agricultural production and processing to foster trade as opposed to anchoring economic development aid. Ghana recorded an agricultural sector expansion of 6.1% in 2017 and 4.8% in 2018. The industry sector recorded growths of 15.7% in 2017 and 10.6% in 2018. There is clear evidence of a positive correlation between the agricultural sector and the industry sector. With agriculture being the largest employer of labour in the country, my Government identifies the sector as having the potential to be a leading sector for a more diversified economy and capable of being transformed to be an engine of growth and job creation. In light of this, Planting for Food and Jobs was a major policy initiative aimed at ensuring this transformation. The policy rolled out five main modules; namely the food crops module, the tree crops module, the livestock module, the green house village module, to stimulate productivity and build a sustainable raw material base to support value addition to agricultural produce.
The Government also rolled out programs such as the 1 Village, 1 Dam; 1 District, 1 warehouses; and subsidized fertilizer schemes; all aimed at solving pain points along the agriculture value chain. These initiatives have resulted in the increased agricultural growth from a low of 2.9% in 2016, to 6.1% in 2017, 4.8% in 2018 and a projected 6.9% expected in 2019.
The country has become food sufficient in maize production as a result of planting for food and jobs. Government’s plan is to tackle holistically the challenges that face agriculture.
My Government has clearly taken note of the fact that no country has developed without industrialization. Our policies since we came into Government, two years ago, thus been geared towards industrialization with emphasis on providing the enabling environment for industries to be set up country wide. This we expect will ensure a nationwide development without limiting development to the urban areas only. This desire for equitable national development is what led to the birth of 1 District, 1 Factory (ID1F).A cursory look at the contributions of the various sectors of the economy towards GDP shows a 34% contribution by the industry sector and agriculture a 19.7% contribution by the agricultural sector in 2018. The Government plans to ensure that both sectors see multiplicative growth in the subsequent years.
Our government is committed to providing the enabling environment and interventions to ensure agriculture in Ghana becomes a business that generates profit. That agriculture is a first-class employer and most importantly agriculture productivity is raised to the level that will provide the basis for the industrialization of agro processing. The industrialization of agro processing we believe will be the pillar for developing the industries that feed off agro processing.
These planned initiatives of the Government cannot come to fruition without the active involvement and support of successful like you. Members of the GC 100, this is my clarion call to you. You are the industry leaders who chart the path. Come partner government in its drive to industrialization through the use of an efficient and profitable agriculture base. Let’s take up the mantle to move Ghana forward, let’s create the environment that will guarantee growth for the benefit for us all. Let us grow and sustain the resources we have at our disposal.