Government says businesses now have their best chance to succeed because their ambition is matched by a government which is private sector focused.
In his preliminary remarks at the opening of 2017 CEO’s Summit Monday, Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo told business leaders, fate has presented them a government that has a “tireless desire” to see them succeed.
Delivering an address on behalf of President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Senior Minister was happy to tell a “true story” to dramatise his belief that if corporate Ghana fails, then it must have been written in the stars.
A husband requiring surgery had always hoped that any of his two favourite surgeons would operate on him, he began his story.
Much to the patient’s pleasant surprise, he got more than he had hoped as his two favourite surgeons all stood over him to conduct the surgery.
In a rush of excitement, this man told his wife Afia that if he does not survive the surgery, it surely cannot be blamed on the specialists. It must be his fate.
Relating it to Ghana, the story-telling politician remarked;
“In this room today with the type of Chief Executives I am seeing, in partnership with the NPP [New Patriotic Party] government, if the Ghana private sector fails then I think it is the fate of Ghana”.
“…the combination cannot fail”, the Presidency’s fourth most powerful politician said in a room that rippled with applause.
Mr. Osafo Maafo reminisced about the bygone days of Ghana’s “glorious brands” when entrepreneurs and industrialists captured heights in commerce.
He rolled out the red carpet for big names like Poku Transport, Appiah Minkah, AB Mensah, A.C Acquah and Esther Ocloo also known as Madam Nkulenu
Ghana became the leading cocoa exporter from the 1950’s until 1987 when it was overtaken by Ivory Coast.
“The government of Ghana throughout that period didn’t have a single farm of cocoa industry. it had only a research unit at Tafo.”
After passing his audience through periods of wasted opportunities, the minister said Ghana now has a “renewed sense of hope” because it has been “blessed” with an NPP government.
The Minister may have stoked debate when he argued, his party’s so-called capitalist orientation is a constitutional must in a liberal democratic country like Ghana.
“Far from being a partisan ideological preserve of the NPP, private enterprise is a constitutional imperative,” he said.
He christened this second NPP government as the “golden age of entrepreneurship”. The first stay in power 2001 to 2008 was christened by President Kufuor as the “golden age of business”.
Urging Ghanaian businesses to dream big, the Minister said the size of the ECOWAS market is waiting for the dominance of Ghanaian businesses.
This is because Ghanaians enjoy a good reputation among the country’s West African colleagues. He pointed out that in a neighbouring country, its citizens insist on made in Ghana drugs when they visit the pharmacy.
The Senior Minister urged business leaders to be ethical, time conscious and pay their share of taxes.
Cutting corners ‘is not quite right”, he said.