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GGBL Boss Calls For Policy Direction   
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Mr. Peter Ndegwa, the Managing Director of Guinness Ghana Breweries Limited (GGBL), says that the nation needs an enabling and targeted policy that will engender private sector growth.

“Governments need to provide an enabling and targeted policy; infrastructure that supports private sector growth -- economic and reliable water, energy and roads -- and maintain an open dialogue with industry to engender growth of the private sector.”

Mr. Ndegwa, who was speaking at the second edition of the Ghana Economic Forum in Accra, said: “The private sector plays a major role in the development and prosperity of a nation and should therefore be given all the needed support.”

“A successful business has multiplier effects on every nation and therefore Government must support the private sector to grow the economy.”

Speaking under the theme “The role of leadership in driving national economic prosperity”, Mr. Ndegwa said: “True leadership does more than build the structures; it has the ability also to shape and provide the specific architecture and direction of growth, to ‘build a better nation.’”

The Economic Forum is an annual event that seeks to bring together industry chieftains and civil society actors to discuss and debate key issues affecting the Ghanaian economy and to offer solutions that enhance achievement of the country’s economic development plans.

Mr. Ndegwa explained that last year GGBL joined other industry players to spearhead an approach to Government encouraging increased use of local raw materials in the brewing industry, by providing concessionary excise rates when a given percentage of local raw materials are used in production.

That, he said, has seen the creation of real economic growth in other countries where Diegeo PLC, the parent company of GGBL, operates by providing livelihood for farmers -- a guaranteed purchaser of produce at a market price -- enabling them to provide for and educate their children.

Following passage of the law, GGBL in December launched Ruut Extra Premium Beer, Ghana’s first cassava-based beer, brewed from 51 percent locally sourced cassava.

The managing director said this is the first step toward pushing the use of locally sourced materials in production; supporting and increasing the livelihoods and development of local farmers and industry; and investing in technology, innovation and equipment to make this possible.

“GGBL firmly believes that beyond an obligation to return value to the community, ‘Doing Good is Good for Business’ and we choose to use our leadership in this direction,” he said. GGBL continues to be a major contributor to Ghana’s economy, accounting for 3% of Government’s total revenue.

In 2011, the Ghana Revenue Agency rated the company as Ghana’s third-best tax payer in the beverage category. Guinness Ghana Breweries employs 527 people at its Kaasi headquarters in Kumasi, representing 0.4% of Ghana’s labour force.

The Kaasi plant produces on average 40 percent of the company’s total volumes, including the Africa-wide cassava-based Ruut Extra Premium beer innovation and Armstrong.

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