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Invest Oil Money In Agriculture
Posted on: 26-Jun-2013        
Mark Webster, Strategic Communications Associate of the Thomson Foundation, has urged government to invest the revenue it receives from the country’s extractive sector into agriculture to create employment for Ghanaians.

He said Ghana could create more jobs for its people by focusing and investing in the productive sectors of the economy including agriculture.

Webster made this known in an interview with CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE at the end of a three-day “Africa Means Business” capacity training programme for economists and journalists in Accra.

He said the extractives industry does not create a lot of jobs for a nation unlike the agriculture sector and stressed the need to channel the money into productive sectors, which has the potential to create more jobs for the people.

“Government has got to be sure that whatever it invests the money into is truly creative and productive.”

He said Africa has the potential of adding value to its natural resources if the institutions are strengthened.

Webster said Africa’s natural resources had been abused and in most cases plundered.

The foregoing, he said, was due to lack of transparency and clarity on laws which encourages some companies to plunder the resources.

He said, “If we get the governance, transparency and openness structures right, then the next 100 years will be the best for Africa.”

He therefore urged African leaders to strengthen their institutions to help make the best out of the continent’s natural resources.

“I think Africa’s institutions have been weak and due to that people have exploited them. But if Africa manages its institutions well, backed by good democratic processes which are transparent, then it can catch up with the rest of the world”, Webster said.

He said Africa needs trustworthy leaders, stating that “Africa’s future in the next decade is mixed. There are some countries that are going to do well like Ghana while others too will continue to struggle.”

In order for other countries to do well in the near future, they must have accountable governments, transparency and good governance, he indicated.

African Means Business (AMB) is a Pan-African media initiative aimed at contributing to the continent’s economic development through the media.