President of the Ghana Association of Bankers and Chief Executive Officer of Stanbic Bank, Mr Alhassan Andani, has encouraged Ghanaians and Ghanaian industries to take advantage of the opportunities the Covid-19 pandemic has presented in order to make the nation’s economy more self-reliant.
According to him, the steady growth of the agricultural sector despite the hard blow of the pandemic on other sectors of the country’s economy was indicative of the potential Ghana has as a country to be self-reliant.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Business Edition, Mr Andani noted that more investments by government, organizations and individuals in the local industry translate into a reduced risk of inflation.
“I was happy to look at the economic data recently; agriculture, and I’ve always held that with all the monetary loosening that we are seeing, if we were ploughing that into local production, and local consumption, the fear of causing inflation would not arise.
“But if there was money loosening, if we gave cedis and people then went on to buy dollars in order to buy goods, then we are really creating inflation. So I was very happy to see, in spite of all the sectors contracting, agriculture was still growing,” he said.
Mr Andani was of the view that the problem with most African economies, Ghana’s inclusive, was its overdependence on trade, especially import trade, thus undermining their quest to be self-reliant and economically independent.
According to him, the pandemic has highlighted the ability of the country to produce majority of its needs locally; importing very little from outside the country.
“It’s telling us to think local, meet all our critical needs locally and just only go external with what we can do efficiently for the rest of the world and take the minimum that we need from outside.
“I think we are configuring this economy and generally most of the African countries are configuring their economies to be dependent on trade, and trade as in import trade, not even export trade,” he said.
He stated that for him, the Covid-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call which Ghanaians should take advantage of the look inwards to attain self-reliance and sustain economic growth.
“So it’s just a wakeup call, not only for Ghana but indeed the rest of the world…for all of us to begin to do things locally.”