Encourage Local Investment To Sustain Economic Development

An Economic Professor at the Centre for World Food Studies of the University of Amsterdam (SOW-VU) has called for a deliberate policy to encourage more local investment to sustain the country’s economy. Dr G.J.M Bart Van Den Boom said the current situation where major investments in the economy were owned by foreigners was not good for the long term development of the nation. Speaking at a seminar for faculty members of the Kumasi Polytechnic, he highlighted the need for a paradigm shift to promote local savings and support local entrepreneurs to go into the various sectors to stimulate sustained growth. The seminar, held under the theme “High growth, North-South divide and foreign ownership: outcomes of a micro-macro simulation model of the Ghanaian economy”, was organized by the management of the Polytechnic to raise issues on the economy and expose faculty members to the economic dynamics confronting the nation. Dr Boom noted that the oil and gas sector for example was almost owned by foreigners and said that posed a risk to the future and sustainable development of the country. Even though Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had seen high growths in the last few years, he pointed out that there was widespread poverty among majority of the people. He said the poverty divide between the northern and southern parts, was getting wider, something that required urgent efforts to tackle. Dr Boom spoke of the need for pragmatic measures to generate enough public and private savings and mobilize local resources for investment, especially in the northern regions, to reduce the north-south migration. He said SOW-VU was engaged in collaborative research, training, capacity building and policy dialogue to assist governmental and academic institutions in Africa and Asia to formulate policies to promote economic and social development in general and fight poverty. Dr Boom pledged the support of the Centre to faculty members, interested in economic research so as to effectively engage in research activities that would help address some of the challenges facing the nation. Professor Nicholas Nicodemus Nana Nsowah-Nuamah, Rector of the Polytechnic, said the seminar was to offer opportunity to faculty members to engage in discussions on the current dynamics of the nation’s economy and contribute to finding solutions to them.