Ghana is not among the most popular destination to set up business. The few entrepreneurs and investors we have had were attracted to the country due to it's natural resources as well as the fact that English is the language of the Ghanaian business world.
Governments for decades have not had great and attractive investment policies and guidelines to support and entice investors; both local and foreign.
I won't minced words on the industrious and well- educated workforce who now have turned useless and unemployed in the name of politricks and some nasty IMF bailout programme.
With or without a Business degree or Business education background, most Ghanaians are naturally born "Business genius".
We are proud as Ghanaians and our pride extends to the nations natural resources which are the country's main exports.
What happens to our gold, oil, cocoa, beans, cashews, corn, plantain, cassava, timber, Aluminum, Manganese ore, diamonds and the horticultures?
Where are the factories and the jobs..?
In relation to ease of doing business, the country is now ranked 114th out of 189 countries included the World Banks Ease of doing business survey.
Ghana imports mostly consumer goods and foodstuffs and yet the country's economy is predominantly agricultural, with 60% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture. And this is really sad .
In 2013, the Bank of Ghana reported; the country imports estimated at $4515.06 million which was all time high with exports estimated at $2931.7 million in July 2013.
In 2014, the dollar started swallowing the cedi and thereafter frightened lots of businesses so importation declined to $3413.22 million with $3583.4 million of exports.
A turning point where every Economist will smile and explain the trade magic that meant , we were selling our own products which is a profit to us and buying less supplies or materials to support the economy, the Government started borrowing unnecessarily which we had to repay the loan with high interest.
In 2015, exports declined to $2525.5 million falling behind imports estimated at $3279.88 same year.
President John Dramani Mahama's Consistent borrowing which was NOT wisely used to build factories to produce and create jobs or invested in private sector businesses or solved the energy crisis(dumsor) in 2015 resulted so many existed businesses to run into liquidation.
Government budget of about GH9.58 billion as interest payment on debt alone which is more than what could raise from external loans and grants of GH8.3 billion is an evidence that, President Mahama and NDC government have failed Ghanaians and may lead the country into a calamitous situation if voted in power for the second term.
The increase in unemployment rate especially among the youth in the country over the past years is as a result of bad leadership, poor trading policies, corruption and government inability to feel the pain of the individual Ghanaian electorates.
A government borrowing more should be able to invest in private sector businesses with grants and also build factories to increase production and also create jobs for the graduated youths. Critical analysis shows opposite of what the NDC government is doing and they must be blamed for the country's crummy economy and depressed businesses.
Due to high taxes on goods and custom duties on imported and exported supplies in 2016 and local businesses NOT producing and government inability to support private sector businesses , exports declined to $2552.5 million and imports maintaining it's $3279.88 million this year resulted in the 9% increase of cost of food in September. And yet the government receive praises of poverty alleviation and transforming lives.
With the above indications, common sense tell us that, Ghana's economic challenges are not unsolvable nightmares and once the Government put fixes in place to support local businesses and build factories, increasing rate of unemployment will be a thing of the past.
To solve the problem, Government should invest in building regional market centers along with factories which will effectively increase production, create jobs, increase exportation and decrease importation in order to compete in the international market.
Even though , foreign investors see Ghana as a good investment destination in terms of political stability and the medium term prospects of the economy but there are yet other significant investment guidelines and support the government should put in place to attract them. A word to the wise is enough.
Credit to: Nana Kyei Baffour