The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Spio-Garbrah, has called on the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to provide more robust assistance to Ghana to enable it to transform its economy through value-added manufacturing and an export-led economy.
The minister made the call when he addressed the member states of UNIDO at the 42nd session of the Industrial Development Board and the Special Session of the General Conference of UNIDO at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, last Tuesday.
He pledged the commitment and desire of Ghana to strengthen its collaboration with UNIDO, inviting the organisation to intervene in several sectors to promote the “made-in-Ghana” policies of the country, including the country’s global branding.
Mr Spio-Garbrah specifically sought the assistance of UNIDO for Ghana in areas such as improving value chains in the agro and food processing industry; technical assistance to build a model food processing plant in Ghana; value addition in the production of coconut fibre and related by-products; training in implementing renewable energy technologies for decentralised power generation to support manufacturing for productive activities enterprises; manufacture of briquettes from agro residues, such as bagasse (sugarcane waste) to substitute wood charcoal; the manufacture of energy-efficient stoves and local manufacture of LED lamps to substitute kerosene lamps.
He urged UNIDO to also help facilitate the integration of developing countries into the global economy and help reduce the shocks of economic crisis.
“In furtherance of this, Ghana would like UNIDO to continue to enhance its support to countries in the implementation of projects aimed at reducing poverty and improving the living standards of the rural poor”, he said.
The trade and industry minister emphasised that Ghana’s own economic development agenda was very well-aligned to UNIDO’s current thematic priorities of: Poverty reduction through productive activities; trade capacity-building; energy development and environmental protection.
“These fall in line with the essential pillars for Ghana’s industrialisation and are in line with the industrial transformation agenda of Ghana as enshrined in our industrial policy”, he said.
Mr Spio-Garbrah gave an assurance that Ghana would continue to welcome partnership with UNIDO in order to benefit from the organisation’s expertise in the fields of agri-business and agro-industries; value addition to solid minerals industries; the petrochemical industry; and the services industry, all being sectors in which the country had attracted, and had the potential to attract even more foreign direct investment.
He expressed appreciation to the Director General of UNIDO, Mr Li Yong, for his visit to Ghana earlier this year during which the importance of inclusive and sustainable industrial development in realising economic growth and employment was highlighted in a meeting with President John Dramani Mahama.
source : Graphic Online