The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says that, even though the coronavirus pandemic presents severe consequences for the country, it also presents Ghana with an opportunity to reduce her dependency on imports.
In a meeting with the leaders of the country’s pharmaceutical and banking industries on Monday, 16th March, 2020, at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s presidency, President Akufo-Addo bemoaned the overly-reliant nature of the country on foreign-made things across the board.
According him, Ghana should possess the capacity to become self-sufficient in the manufacture of items such as masks, hand sanitizers and disposable gloves – basic items needed to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
“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 make 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.
Whilst praying to Almighty God to shield the country from an increment in cases of infections, he noted, however, that should there be a spike in the incidents of infections, the country will be presented with a significant challenge.
With the meeting having in attendance bankers, pharmaceutical giants, regulators of the industry, the President was hopeful that “together, in this coalition, we can then begin to address these deficiencies in a systematic and pragmatic manner.”
He continued, “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.”
To the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Ernest Addison, who was present at the meeting, the President stressed that “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.”
President Akufo-Addo concluded by stating that “if we want to be a properly functioning country, we cannot continue to live of other people’s ingenuity and hard work. We have to live of our own ingenuity, creativity, and hard work. That is the only way we can build a viable nation.”
The President of the Ghana Pharmaceutical Manufacturers association, Kofi Nsiah Poku, disclosed that the meeting has enabled the Pharmaceutical manufacturers to find ways of making available personal protective equipment for treatment and prevention.
On supportive treatment, he said the manufacturers will begin to produce more to meet the demands of the public and said the president has urged them to be self sufficient going forward.