The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) says Ghanaian industrialists and entrepreneurs have the capacity, knowledge and expertise to produce to feed the country and turn the economy around.
To this end, the AGI has called on the government to develop deliberate policies to spur the growth of the industrial sector.
Speaking at the Virtual Forum on COVID-19 and the Vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, President of the AGI, Dr Yaw Adu Gyamfi said Ghanaian Industrialists and entrepreneurs could produce all the country needs with the needed support.
According to the AGI President who spoke on the theme “COVID-19 and our march towards Ghana Beyond Aid: Turning adversity into opportunities,” it was Ghanaians who could help turn the economy around and not any other nationals.
“Germans build Germany, Nigerians will build Nigeria and it is Ghanaians who will build Ghana,” he said, adding that “even in time of adversity, we Ghanaian industrialists say we can if given the chance.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had demonstrated that Ghanaians could rise to the occasion if given the opportunity, saying “in spite of the COVID-19, and the lockdown, we were able to feed ourselves and the country never went hungry.”
Dr Gyamfi said the high cost of electricity, low investment in research and development and the inability of the country to link Information Communication Technology to industry were some of the challenges facing the industrial sector which comprised manufacturing, mining, and oil and gas of the country.
The AGI President observed that the revival of the industry and the manufacturing sectors, would be hinged on pillars such as strong collaboration between industry and the universities for the local production of machinery needed by industry, value-addition to the country’s natural resources, adoption of ICT applications for manufacturing, and need for large markets.
To this end, Dr Gyamfi entreated the youth to develop applications to help industry improve their production processes.
“Industry needs ICT applications that will help improve productivity,” he challenged the youth.
Dr Gyamfi commended the government for the One District, One Factory and the Planting for Food and Jobs as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area initiatives, saying they were good programmes to propel the development of the country.
Touching on the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the adversity had taught the entire citizenry to become health conscious and the country to be self-reliant.
According to him, the number of people who reported to his health facility for treatment and medication for diabetes and other ailments had reduced.
That, Dr Gyamfi said was because people had resorted to good eating habits and better lifestyles as a result of the coronavirus disease.