Mr. Edward Effah, together with a 9-person delegation, indicated that Unilever, which is the largest producer and retailer of consumer goods in Ghana, believes that the decision of the Akufo-Addo government to create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish, as well increase competitiveness for businesses is the surest way towards creating wealth and prosperity for the people of Ghana.
He further noted that government’s “Planting for Jobs and Food” initiative was a laudable one, and to this end indicated that Unilever is ready to partner with government to establish a world class oil palm industry in Ghana.
Also present at the meeting was Yaw Nsarkoh, Executive Vice President of Unilever Ghana-Nigeria, who praised President Akufo-Addo for his clarity of vision regarding private sector development, as evidenced in the 2016 manifesto of the New Patriotic Party and the 2017 state of the nation address, delivered on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.
He also added that Unilever intends on building an industrial powerhouse in Ghana, in the course of the coming years.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo was grateful for the words of support from the leadership of Unilever and their desire to co-operate with his government to help return Ghana onto the path of progress and prosperity.
The President was confident that with the support and co-operation of industry players, and the effective implementation of government’s policies and programmes, Ghana’s economy will, once again, be a major force to reckon with on the continent.
Describing the country as a “wealthy nation”, President Akufo-Addo added that the “proper management of the economy will see the wealth of nation being manifested in the lives of the citizenry.”
With his government’s economic focus hinged on “getting the productive sectors of the economy working again”, the President urged Unilever to consider relocating their production units back to Ghana.
These production units were moved by Unilever to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria over the last few years, as a result of the unfavourable economic conditions prevailing in the country.
The President assured that “we will do our best to create an enabling environment so that we can facilitate the inflow of investments into our country. Ghana should be at the centre of producing things again in the region and on the continent.”
The Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, who was also present at the meeting noted that it was reassuring that “Unilever is inspired by the President’s vision”, stressing that government will offer the necessary incentives to the private sector with the aim of industrializing the country.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant, assured that one of his major objectives will be the removal of bottlenecks to operations and a reduction of the huge administrative costs bedeviling the establishment of businesses, so as to make businesses operating in Ghana more competitive.