Ghana’s former Minister for Railways Development Hon. Joe Ghartey has expressed firm belief that the way forward for Ghana as a country is the private sector.
Ghartey, who said this at the Official Launch of the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre at the University of Professional Studies, noted that examples abound around the world of the private sector being the main engine of growth in several countries.
He pointed out that Countries that not too long ago did not permit a vibrant private sector, today are growing by leaps and bounds largely due to a strong and emerging private sector.
According to him, “There was a time in Ghana where state ownership and the direct participation of the State in economic activity was the order of the day; but this debate between whether the State or the private sector should be the driving force of the economy, has been effectively settled.
“This was settled by the provisions of the 1992 Constitution. Article 36 (2) (b) of the 1992 Constitution provides as follows:36 (2) (b) The State shall, in particular, take all necessary steps to establish a sound and healthy economy whose underlying principles shall include affording ample opportunity for individual initiative and creativity in economic activities and fostering an enabling environment for a pronounced role of the private sector in the economy”, he said.
He stated that a close review of each sector and the legal regime regulating the sector may reveal that a retooling of a particular sector’s legal regime to enable deeper private sector participation will open up the frontiers of these sectors and create more opportunities for all Ghanaians.
“In some sectors, perhaps the only thing that has to be done is a review of the legal framework. There is no doubt that the Government can provide incentives to the private sector in order to lead investment to a particular sector. This is by using taxation and tariff reliefs as a tool for economic development”, he said.
While noting that the private sector has created and continues to create opportunities, he enthused that the future of Ghana is the private sector and it is the private sector that will create jobs for the country.
He also pointed out that the duty of the government is to create an enabling environment which will afford everyone the opportunity to be able to afford, at the very least the minimum necessities of life.
Speaking further, he said, “To the students who are participating in this Initiative and to the youth at large, I say free your mind. Move from the mentality of appointment to a mentality of creation. Don’t look for a job, create a job.
“Some of the richest people in the world today dreamt when they were your age and today have impacted the whole world. The youth of today, free your mind, the world is your canvas, use it and paint a masterpiece that we will all applaud. It should be said that if our fathers gave us political independence, this generation has given us economic independence”, Ghartey added.