Economic Governance Platform proposes more empowered NDPC to propel Ghana’s Private Sector

Felix Ankrah, Program Coordinator of the Economic Governance Platform.

By Rebecca Ekpe.

Government has the onerous task of protecting the Private Sector, as it remains the largest employer in Ghana. In the meantime, the challenges faced by the Public Sector remain unresolved. Among the concerns are high interest rates, land issues, zoning policies, lack of safety nets, and access to external markets.

These issues were tabled on December 1, 2021, at a Round Table in Accra, as part of recommendations in discussions on accelerating poverty reduction in Post-Covid 19 recovery.

The discussion was convened by the Economic Governance Platform (previously the CSO Platform on the IMF Programme), on the theme;

“An Assessment Economic growth pathways through which the Private Sector can contribute to the Acceleration of poverty reduction in the Post-Covid 19 recovery period”.

In protecting the Private Sector, it was agreed that data was critical to the successful propelling of growth and development. Which meant that a lot more needed to be done in the area of data analysis, and the need to ensure that this data was used to accelerate development.

”Good data helps to remove corruption,” according to Dr. William Godfred Cantah, an Economist with the Department of Data Science and Economics, University of Science and Technology.

He presented a paper, suggesting that a National Plan of Action as opposed to Political Manifestos would go a long way to accelerate the economic development, Ghana desired.

”Lack of continuity,” he identified as bane to Ghana’s development.

He gave the example of the Ghana’s Cards, which according to Dr. Cantah, had taken many years to materialize.

”If we had taken digitalization, Ghana Card all of the harnessing of data seriously, long ago, it would have reduced some indebtedness and we would not have been here talking about E-Levy,” he posited.

Clearly, Ghana has all the lofty ideas to grow the economy and better livelihoods, but implementation of these ideas seems to be a concern to Policy Think Tanks.

Discussants at the Economic Governance Platform RoundTable suggested that Ghana’s National Development Planning Commission, NDPC, should be empowered to propel Ghana’s national vison on a much higher pedestal.

Felix Ankrah, Program Coordinator of the Economic Governance Platform noted that it is important to ”interrogate the issues as Covid-19 has presented another level of challenge that the Private Sector would have to deal with”.

He however noted that notwithstanding the challenges, the Private Sector has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the economy, ”in terms of employment creation, revenue mobilization for national development, and infrastructural expansion”.

To top it up, data and digitalization are seen are solutions. Data can help to resolve the development deficits. Mrs. Juliet Amoah, Executive Director, Penplusbytes described it as ”the Silver Bullet” to empowering the Private Sector.

In her closing remarks, at the Round Table on Accelerating of Poverty Reduction in a Post-Covid 19 Recovery, Mrs. Juliet Amoah said besides the positives of the Private Sector, there needs to be more synergy between governmental agencies to maximize resources for the growth and sustainability of the Private Sector, especially Post Covid-19.

The Economic Governance Platform is made-up of leading CSOs and Think-Tanks in the country who objectively look at the trade-offs, the ups and downs of government policies and provide useful feedback in promoting the national good since the inception of the country’s Extended Credit Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2015.

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