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Business News of Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Source: Ayorogo Adongo Bismark

More liberalization will spell doom for Ghana -NORPRA

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-norpra tells president mahama

Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA, has in response to President Mahama’s call for more liberation of Africa economies, stated that more liberation of the economies of Africa especially the Ghanaian economy will further spell doom for the country. NORPRA wants the economic advisers to the president to constantly remind him of the evils of liberalization which include collapse of local industries leading to high unemployment in particular and unsustainable growth and development in general. Proponents of trade liberalization like President Mahama have always argued and concluded that there is a strong positive correlation between trade liberalization, growth and development, on the contrary, compelling evidence in the works of Rodrik and Rodriguez (1999) strongly disputes the assumption of any strong positive correlation between liberalization and economic growth in developing countries, and this where the president’s attention needs to be drawn to.

Policy makers of Africa and for that matter Ghana need to be constantly reminded of the fact that developed countries are continuing to protect their markets and their sensitive products, despite the commitments entered into in multilateral trade negotiations. As a matter of fact, these countries provide strong support to their agricultural producers through export subsidies, market protection and internal support for producers at a time when developing countries, particularly in Africa, have made large cuts in all forms of support for their agricultural sectors in the framework of the structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) and other Bretton Wood induced policies. It is against this backdrop that, NORPRA thinks African leaders will be greatly missing the point when they start behaving and talking the language of the IMF and World Bank.

Ghana’s own economic history points it out clearly that the collapse of the cotton industry was purely a function of liberalization policy. An economy such as ours which imports and consumes more than it produces and exports, will, under more liberalization, worsen the plight of Ghanaians in terms of unemployment and increase GDPs and employment opportunities in countries whose heavily subsidized goods and services are imported into the country on daily basis. More liberalization will not only undoubtedly compound the market problems faced by Ghanaian rice and poultry farmers and those in the textile industry but will as well further exacerbate our precarious trade deficit, current account balances and the alarming rate at which the cedi is depreciating against the major trading currencies. In conclusion, NORPRA wish to urges government to put in the necessary support mechanisms for local industries to increase their productive capacities in areas that they have comparative advantage for an accelerated development of the Ghanaian economy.

Ayorogo Adongo Bismark (Director and Coordinator of NORPRA’s Governance Programme) 0209313630

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