The maiden Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogue, hosted by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta, marked a significant step toward fostering collaboration between the private and public sectors to ensure shared prosperity and sustainable economic growth.
The forum, organised in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, brought together key figures from various sectors of the Ghanaian economy to discuss pressing issues and formulate solutions.
It provided a platform for high-level discussions and collaboration between government and business leaders to address critical issues in the economy
Vision for mutual prosperity
Mr. Ofori-Atta outlined the purpose and vision of the Ghana Mutual Prosperity Dialogue, emphasising the need for an intimate partnership between the private and public sectors. He stressed that the forum is not just a series of events but a platform for ongoing dialogue and engagement among all stakeholders.
He highlighted Ghana’s potential as a business hub and premier investment destination on the continent.
The finance minister recognised the challenges of past attempts at public-private dialogue, such as marginal participation and a lack of an actionable agenda. However, he assured attendees that government has learned from past experiences and is fully committed to creating a better future through these dialogues. He also mentioned collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure the success of these efforts.
Furthermore, Mr. Ofori-Atta discussed plans for the Development Bank of Ghana, which he said will play a crucial role in providing long-term funds to support industry. He further stressed the importance of key fiscal and digital infrastructure, renewable energy supply and equitable distribution to support industries.
Kyle Kelhofer, Senior Country Manager-International Finance Corporation (IFC), expressed the importance of business and government coming together to seek suggestions for mutual prosperity and stability. He highlighted the unique role of IFC in facilitating dialogues between businesses and governments in countries around the world.
Mr. Kelhofer provided valuable suggestions for the dialogue: including focusing on issues with systemic benefits, addressing non-financial aspects and concentrating on near-term successes. He emphasised the critical economic period in Ghana, wherein the business sector can play a vital role in economic growth and job creation.
AGI’s perspective on implementation
Seth Twum Akwaboah, Chief Executive Officer-Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), for his part underlined the importance of effectively implementing strategies and policies developed during the dialogue. He questioned the commitment of resources to implement key programmes and structures, highlighting the need for a real implementation plan.
Mr. Akwaboah also requested incentives for local producers to generate much-needed revenue and contribute to structural transformation of the economy. He stressed the importance of a politically stable environment for long-term economic ventures, and called on government to create a favourable business environment so businesses can thrive.
Furthermore, Mr. Akwaboah raised the issue of multiple taxes and the need to enforce compliance with existing tax policies.
He finally lamented the negative repercussions of sub-standard products entering the market and competing unfairly with locally produced goods.