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Ghana has been undergoing a process of financial sector restructuring and transformation as an integral part of its Vision 2015 strategy. Prior to 2003, the Bank of Ghana, Ghana’s Central Bank, operated a three-pillar banking model with all banks licensed as either development, merchant and commercial banking. In February 2003, the Bank of Ghana introduced Universal Banking which allowed the banks to undertake commercial, development, merchant or investment banking without requiring separate licenses. This has levelled the playing field, and opened up the banking system to competition, product innovation and entry.

The National coordinator of the Ghana Capacity 21 Programme, Mr. S. 0. Saaka apologized on behalf of the Chief Director of the Ministry for Environment Science and Technology for his inability to be at the workshop due to other equally important engagements. He said, it has been about a year since PEF began planning for this workshop and the UNDP/Ghana Capacity 21 Programme assisted in organizing their focal persons in the various districts to be part of this workshop. He lauded PEF's efforts in going beyond Accra and Kumasi and to the remote parts of the country to draw participants for this workshop.

Agriculture has long been an important sector of the economy, employing about 50 percent of the labour force. At the end of 2014, the sector contributed an estimated 19.9 percent to the country’s GDP (Ghana Statistical Service). Cocoa is the major export crop, followed by timber and non-traditional products such as horticulture, fish/sea foods and pineapple. The Agriculture sector continued its trend of increasing growth, growing at 5.3 percent in 2014 compared with 5.2 percent in 2013 and 2.3 percent in 2012. This was mainly on account of growth in the Crop, Livestock sub sector and the Fishing sub sector. In addition, the recent investments made in the development of the Agricultural Industry bodes well for sustained growth in the Industry.

This colloquium, coming so soon after the First National Forum on Harnessing Research, Science and Technology for Sustainable Development of Ghana, held at the International Conference Centre, Accra, from March 15th to 19th, 2004 encourages me to amplify, explain further and contextualize better, some of the following key statements I made and ideas I espoused within the constraints of the planned period of the forum when I spoke on

Ghana Vision 2020: A Middle Income Country by the Year 2020

Ghana seeks to become a middle income country by the year 2020.  This ambitious objective, embodied in the Government's Vision 2020, requires an average annual growth rate of 8% from 1995-2020.  Maintaining the present policy framework, and thus its historical growth rate, will only achieve Half of what is required--Ghana must work twice as hard.  The accelerated growth needed to attain the Objective of Vision 2020 can only come from a radical and sustained shift in the policy framework, to One that effectively implements an outward-oriented growth strategy.  To achieve the required growth rate, exports must grow at least 10% per year--doubling every seven years.  But traditional exports, currently accounting for 85% of total exports, are projected to grow at most by 5% per annum.  This means that non-traditional exports must be the new engine of growth, growing at more than 15% per year from now to 2020.  Export growth rates of this magnitude will result only if the entire economy is Focused on international competitiveness.

The Ghanaian private sector has been designated as the engine of growth in the country's new development strategy.  This new role of the private sector is no doubt a challenging one. This is because the private sector is expected to play roles hitherto the preserve of the state.

The  Private  Enterprise  Foundation   (PEF)  is  an  umbrella  private  sector  body devoted  to the orderly   and  healthy  development   of  the  private   sector   in  Ghana   through   ad roach   and promotion.   In the discharge of this responsibility PEF is involved in policy dialogue to ensure that policies favor the smooth growth of the private sector.   In February 2000, PEF organized a  workshop  on the theme "Building  Partnership   with Parliamentary  Committees  - A Private Sector/Legislature Network on Policy  and Laws for Effective  Governance"  for members of 3 relevant  committees   of  parliament   with  a  view  to  striking  the  necessary  relationship   and acquaintances  to facilitate its advocacy role.  Later events however did not allow for the full implementation    of   the   recommendations of   that   workshop.    

Over the last decade,  Ghana's  real GDP  has grown  steadily  at 4 per cent  per annum on average.  Sectoral  growth  rates in agriculture,  industry  and services have  also   remained   reasonably   positive.   However,  the   macro-economic performance has not facilitated the needed structural transformation of the economy ;  consequently,  the   economy    continues  to  depend   on   primary commodity   exports.   At  about   36   per  cent   of  GDP,   the  contribution  of agriculture has changed  little since  1961  when it reached  35 per cent. Primary commodities account  for 61 . 2 per cent of exports  on average  compared  to  II per cent  for  manufactured goods  (1997-2001). Ghana's  external   debt  grew from  41 .4  per  cent  of  GDP  to  132.2  per  cent  over  the  period  1983-2000, revealing  significant levels of dependence on external  financial  flows.

Ghana is endowed with substantial mineral resources and has a well-established mining sector, which has grown considerably in recent years to represent an important pillar of the Ghanaian economy.
The minerals extractive industry currently has thirteen large-scale mining companies and, over three hundred registered small scale mining groups and ninety mine support service companies.

Among the strategic objectives of the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) IS the policy to maintain a close relationship with private sector business organizations and to be the lead organization that would play an advocacy role in influencing policies and regulations of government. The Foundation would also relate to other internal and external bodies for the creation of an enabling economic environment that would ensure that private business in Ghana could increasingly contribute to national development.

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