The former Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre [GIPC], Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, has called for the maximum utilization and development of the country’s resources to improve the economy.
Speaking on Multi TV’s political talk show, Minority Caucus, Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay said Ghana is blessed with resources such as bauxite, gold, cocoa and oil – which he described as economic pillars which should help develop Ghana’s economy to be at par with countries such as Singapore and Malaysia which were once on the same level with Ghana.
According to him, most of the countries which constitute the bloc known as the “Asian Tigers” have been able to reach their current level of development because they were able to marry “attracting foreign direct investment and a clear domestic policy.”
The former GIPC head argued that Ghana and Africa in general have not been competitive enough to attract the right type of investments which will contribute to developing their economies.
“When we are doing analysis, please let’s not overdo the point that we are the best in Africa, because we are only 4% of the pie” he said adding that “96% of the pie is outside our shores, so when we are aspiring, let us remember the aspiration is 96% not to fight over the 4% that we are getting.”
Using an analogy from the football game, Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay said Ghana’s economy continues to play “in division five when everybody is aspiring for the premier league because when you amount to 4% of the FDI, the total value of our businesses south of the Sahara, even being very promising, probably doesn’t reach the total value in terms of the GDP of one of the European countries.”
He charged government to as a matter of priority create the requisite infrastructure that will ensure that the oil and gas industry generates extra income for the country.
“When you are blessed with some of these things, you cannot put it and spend it, you must spend it in a manner that builds what we call asserts” he said.
He stressed the need for Ghana to take a cue from countries which have adopted the Economic Development Authority system to maximize our economic development potentials.
“The challenge we have as a developing [country] is that we need to focus our attention. We need to focus our resources and we need to remove barriers, and bureaucracy to achieve clear goals [and this does not mean creating mammoth] but the idea is to create lean, mean, well resourced and targeted interventions. The agencies will be measured on implementation not on writing the plans” he stressed.