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Ghana’s economy ready to take off – Yamson   
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Dr Ishmael Yamson, former Chairman of Unilever Ghana, on Wednesday said the environment was ideal for Ghana’s economy to take off.

He said Ghanaians must demand good leadership and develop an inspiring long-term vision to create a competitive economy that would be beneficial for the present and future generations.

"Let us ensure quality leadership, balanced political, economic and social goals as well as acceptable behaviours and values to build sustainable, prosperous economy," he said.

Dr Yamson was delivering a paper on: “The Design and Development of Private Sector Development Strategy and Action Plan II (PSDS),” as part of the Seventh Bi-annual Joint Review Meeting on the National Medium Term of PSDS II in Accra.

He noted that despite Ghana's economic retrogression, the country had now established participatory democracy, underpinned by relatively strong democratic institutions.

Dr Yamson observed that, discipline in fiscal and monetary policy management of the economy had also been restored.

He said the major challenges were high levels of unemployment and donor dependent economy with more than 80 per cent of the country's investment budget being financed by donors.

Other setbacks he said were high rural urban drift, deteriorating standards of education and an uncompetitive economy.

Dr Yamson said: "Our investment climate is unattractive and frustrating with recurring macro-economic, inadequate infrastructure and low productivity.”

Comparing the performance of the Ghanaian economy with that of Mauritius, that initiated economic reforms, he said Ghana could leapfrog to the level of that country with a transformational leadership, a clear long-term vision, as well as defined and committed strategies.

He urged government to create a competitive economy, driven by public private partnership, and balance the political as well as socio-economic goals, focusing on poverty alleviation.

Dr Yamson said for the nation to realise its PSDS II goals of making the private sector thrive, creating employment and enhancing livelihood, it needed to transform the economic growth from the average of about six per cent to about 10 per cent within a decade.

"As part of the transformation there should be the move from factor-driven stage, which is depending on natural resources to the efficient economic-driven economic development.

"We need to ensure the efficiency of our institutions, concentrate on high education and create market for small and medium scale industries," he said.

Dr Yamson said developing countries such as Ghana needed to harness her natural resources to attain a stable economic development.

"We pride ourselves of having natural endowment but lose sight of having abundant natural resources that cannot reduce poverty but are exploited,” he added.

Ms Sophia Akuffo, a Supreme Court Judge said to realise the PSDS II goals the Judicial Service would soon build commercial courts in Tema, Kumasi Cape Coast, Takoradi and Koforidua to facilitate justice delivery nation-wide.

She said Alternative Dispute Resolution had been instituted to deal with minor commercial cases.

"The Judicial Service is also organising workshops for judges to enable them improve on their performance," she said.


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