Ghana to learn from Singapore’s experience

Singapore has given an assurance that it will share its development experiences with Ghana to build on the current economic gains, in line with the government’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.

The Senior Minister of Singapore, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, gave this assurance after a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, yesterday to discuss development issues of the two countries.

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Mr Shanmugaratnam, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, Office of the Prime Minister of Singapore, will have discussions with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and also the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on critical matters of interest to the two nations.

He arrived in the country on November 5 and will leave on November 8.

Critical success factors

Touching on the key success factors of Singapore, Mr Shanmugaratnam said, “the most important ingredient of success of our country is the investments we made in the social foundations of our economic development.”

“And those social foundations are education, which has been the pillar of our development; integrating people from various ethnic backgrounds into a nation; building a strong savings culture, public ownership and an uncompromising attitude towards corruption in government.”

“In our early years of national development, we developed an uncompromising attitude towards corruption, investing in social foundations in our economy.

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“Ghana’s current strategy has been laid out in a way that it is meant to outlast any government and has a lot of echoes with the journey Singapore had taken in the past.

This is the right strategy for the future and what is left for me is everybody becoming a stakeholder in the Ghana Beyond Aid”.

Areas of interest

The areas of interest for the meeting included the ‘whole-of-government approach” that ensures effective coordination within government so that national strategies could move from aspirations on paper to rapid and efficient implementation for results.

The meeting also discussed foreign direct investments (FDI) attraction; particularly on how to emulate the Economic Development Board (EDB) in attracting manufacturing in FDI; and how the two countries could jointly work on the Northern Investment Summit in January 2020, which is a flagship project.

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Transforming economy

Mr Ofori-Atta said in spite of the economic gains, the issue of regionalisation remained critical to government where the country could serve as a platform to attract all the foreign direct investments from all over the world.

“We want to make Ghana a hub of manufacturing, financial services, and logistics—a gateway to business in West Africa and Africa. We would like to learn from Singapore’s experience and benefit from that.

“We are looking for rapid growth that will transform the economy and generate good-paying jobs by developing manufacturing and high-value services, particularly financial services.

“We aim to leverage strategic advantages to position Ghana as a hub for manufacturing, financial services and logistics—the Gateway to Business in West Africa and in Africa in general; similar to the way Singapore positioned itself, starting from the late 1960s, to achieve similar results,” he stated.

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Supportive environment

To this end, he said, the government was creating a very supportive environment for the private sector and providing support for the domestic private sector to venture into manufacturing and high-value services.

He said the country would also aggressively attract foreign investments in manufacturing and financial services and create a modern, efficient seaport and an international airport.

“We will also build the human capital, particularly the skills, that will ensure the employability of our graduates from the secondary and tertiary institutions and also help drive the economic transformation agenda.” – GraphicOnline

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