Efficiency, Accountability and Integrity

Ghana, Guyana to broaden economic cooperation

October 4, 2023

Ghana and Guyana have expressed their willingness to broaden economic partnerships to boost bilateral trade to help improve the lives of their citizens.

Both countries have also agreed to leverage their resources and expertise to achieve mutual prosperity and sustainable development.

This came to light when a delegation from Guyana paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, at his office in Accra yesterday.

Members of the Guyana delegation were the Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, and the Minister of Information, Kwame McCoy.

They discussed the governance structure of both countries, how their information ministries operated and how the two nations were able to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and the Ukraine invasion by Russia.

“The figures show our two countries are doing well, particularly in the area of trade, however, there is the need to do more to further bolster our relationship,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah said. 

Global economic challenges

On management of the global rise in fuel prices, the minister said the government had adopted a different approach of procuring fuel through an initiative known as gold for oil policy.

He said the policy had helped the country to circumvent the risk associated with purchasing oil with foreign currency.

Mr Oppong Nkrumah further said that at the peak of the pandemic, the government did some tax cuts for some local industries.

In addition, he said the government provided free water, electricity and grants to some local businesses to keep them running.

The minister further said that the government did not lay off public sector workers but continued to pay them although most of them had to stay home during the lockdown period.

“For example, teachers did not go to school to teach for a whole year during the peak of the pandemic but were still kept on the payroll when in other parts of the world, public sector workers were being laid off.

“So my advice to my colleagues from Guyana is that once it is time to pay back the bills, you must engage your population to understand that it took a lot to take care of them during the pandemic and so it is going to take a lot to pay those bills,” Mr Oppong Nkrumah added.

Situation in Guyana

For his part, the Minister of Information of Guyana, said citizens in his country were also expressing their frustrations over the global cost of living.

“But we have been working to find ways around it as a government.

We are trying to ease the burden on citizens by giving out some grants to cushion the impact of the challenges such as reduction of taxes on fuel and water tariff by some five per cent,” he said.

On food security, Mr McCoy said the government was working with some groups who would be given grants and other incentives to establish small businesses.

“One thing I have taken note of is that people only care about what is happening around them and not about what is happening elsewhere, and we the politicians end up taking the heat,” he said.

Source: Graphic Online