President Akufo-Addo says Covid-19 pandemic presents a perfect opportunity for Ghana to increase its manufacturing capacity despite the severe consequences the disease poses for the nation.
This, he adds, will help the country to reduce her dependency on imports whilst also becoming self-sufficient in the long run.
In a meeting with the leaders of the country’s pharmaceutical and banking industries on Monday, 16th March, 2020, at Jubilee House, the President laments the overly-reliant nature of the country on everything foreign.
Ghana, he said, ought to possess the capacity to become self-sufficient in the manufacture of protective equipment such as masks, hand sanitizers and disposable gloves – basic items needed to combat the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
“We are not talking just pharmaceuticals. We are far too dependent on the things made abroad and imported by us for use.
“We should be making most of the things we need in Ghana ourselves, and I am seeing what is happening to us, in this crisis, as an opportunity. It has very big consequences, but it also an opportunity. They say necessity is the mother of invention and advisedly so,” the President said.
Brainstorm to combat the coronavirus
The President further notes that should there be a spike in the incidents of infections, the country will be presented with a significant challenge, adding that the situation also calls for prays from the Almighty to protect the nation from the clutches of the coronavirus disease.
President was hopeful that with the coming together of bankers, pharmaceutical gurus and industry regulators “we can then begin to address these deficiencies in a systematic and pragmatic manner.”
“So, I called you here for all of us to put our brains and minds and hearts together to see a way forward for the future of our country.
“Whatever decisions are made today are not going to transform the situation today or tomorrow. But, then, we are going to be putting in the building blocks, the platform, for the transformation of tomorrow’, he added.
President Akufo-Addo further stated that the time has come for Ghana to live off its own ingenuity by devising creative means of solving its difficulties without relying on help from outside.
“If we want to be a properly functioning country, we cannot continue to live off other people’s ingenuity and hard work. We have to live off our own ingenuity, creativity, and hard work. That is the only way we can build a viable nation”, he concluded.
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, also present at the meeting, for his part, called for collaborations to find means of channeling resources to fight the menace.
“There is the need for us to work collectively to see how our banking sector, which, fortunately under his leadership, is becoming stronger and stronger, can find a way of channeling monies and resources to some of you here so that you can begin to do things for our health system here”, he said.