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Business News of Friday, 30 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Infrastructural gap impeding industrialisation – Hannah Tetteh

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, has stressed the need for Ghana to deal with its infrastructural deficit in order to enable it create the enabling environment for businesses and industries to grow. She, however, added that the infrastructural deficit of the country was not limited to the country alone but extended to other African countries as a whole.

Sh, thus, called on governments of sister countries to the need to focus on infrastructural development for the private sector and industries to excel.

Ms Tetteh made the remarks at the launch of the Ghana Industrial Week in Accra on the theme ‘Accelerating Industrialisation for boosting intra-Africa Trade.’

The week-long activities lined up by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).

This year’s event is the 23rd edition of the continent’s Industrial Week instituted to help bring attention on the need to develop industries.

The programme is scheduled to end with the maiden edition of the Ghana Industrial Awards on Saturday at the Banquet Hall in Accra.

Ms Tetteh said infrastructure was crucial in accelerating intra-African trade “because it creates good environment for industrialisation which then supports a diversified export economy.”

She said in boosting intra-African trade, there was the need to improve and expand roads, rail ways and other communication infrastructure across the continent so as to enable the smooth transportation of goods within the continent.

She mentioned energy as one of the key issues that needed more attention to boost industrialisation and intra-Africa trade.

“We need to investment in renewable energy to expand the pole of energy generation in Ghana and also to be replicated regionally, continentally in order for us to be able to get the energy support we need for industries to be progressive,” she said.

The resident representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Mr Carlos Lopes, said “African economies are among the fastest growing in the world, yet intra-regional trade accounts only for 10 percent of the continent’s commence, significantly less than in other regions.”

“Many constrains impede trade expansion in Africa which includes obsolete infrastructure, fragmental economic space, low production capacities, limited investment financial and high transaction costs”.

He added that eliminating these obstacles were a prerequisite to fully realise Africa’s economic potential and helping to address the continents socio-economic and development challenges.

According to him, healthy intra-Africa trade could free the continent from its reliance on international aid.

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