President John Mahama as part of his tour to the Central Region delivered lecture to some students and a cross-section of the general public at the University of Cape Coast as part of his accounting to the peoples’ tour.
President Mahama who spoke on the topic “Raising Opportunities Entrepreneurship and A Changing Ghana,” commended the University for its Solid Background in research and work ethic which he said was clearly evident in the output of alumni found in various sectors of the economy. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of your alumni both in the past and present and they have always proven themselves competent and equal to the task”.
This led him to mention Maxwell Sampson, an alumnus, who is an entrepreneur doing very well in the food supply chain business. According to the President, Maxwell took advantage of a GH¢ 10million loan facility provided by government to move his business out of his home and currently supplying a host of top-class hotels and food joints with his products.
“It is such entrepreneurial spirit of people like these that create huge business conglomerates such as Microsoft and others. They all began as Small to Medium Entreprises (SMEs)”.
Turning to history of the country’s economy, Mr. Mahama indicated that, it relapsed in the post independence era in the 1970’s to 1980’s to warrant the introduction of various economic measures in an attempt to remedy it. Citing the Economic Recovery Programmes in the 1980’s and 90’s, Growth and Poverty Reduction policies in the 2000’s as some of the measures introduced by the various governments at the time to salvage the economy.
‘Even though a number of interventions were launched like the free maternal care, health insurance, most of them were foreign funded therefore government’s real intervention were low”. In spite of all these numerous interventions and economic strategies implemented, the structure of the economy remained unchanged.
However, in the post 2008 era government, according to president Mahama, things began to change as the incumbent government commenced a process to transform the economy, indicating that by 2014 December “development had been crystalized by both government and the private sector”. Ghana began exploration of oil in 2011, but according to Mr. Mahama, its overall impact on the economy has been over exaggerated since only small percentage goes into the fund thus making Ghana remain a net importer of oil.
President Mahama said government would continue to pursue its policy of developing local content in the local oil business since its has a huge job-creation potential to the mass of the citizenry and added that it was the aim of government to make Ghana the oil hub in West Africa.
On the strength of the country’s economy, he described it as very resilient due to the home -grown policies developed out of the Senchi consensus. He said the outlook of the economy has been positive and currently GDP stands at $40bn making its only second to Nigeria in West Africa.
Touching on government’s spending and borrowing internally, he said government for the first time is leaving within its means by paying expenditure from its own revenue adding that government has also resorted to zero borrowing from the Bank of Ghana.
Responding to a request from the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. D. D. Kuupole to have the road stretching from the medical hostel to the Science inter-section asphalted, the president said, it would be considered as part of the road overlay project currently on-going in the Cape Coast metropolis.