“We are struggling to create wealth and distribute it equitably through a fair social contract” – outgoing CEO of StanChart Ghana

It’s been difficult getting the private sector, in this modern ICT age, to drive the levers of growth for the local economy, outgoing CEO of StanChart Ghana has said.

According to Kwaku Bedu-Addo, “Over a 30-year period, I think that we are struggling as a country… we are struggling to assert our economic identity. We are struggling to create wealth and distribute it equitably through a fair social contract.”

The experienced banker made the observation during a discussion on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM with Nhyira Addo on Wednesday.

He lamented that, unlike other societies that have guiding philosophies, Ghana does not have enablers to make the private sector thrive.

“Other societies have a guiding philosophy or there is a paradigm behind which private enterprise thrives and for that matter partners the public sector in developing the economy.”

In some countries, Mr Bedu-Addo emphasised, the whole society is driven by productivity and a consistent cost-reduction policy.

“Every year, the cost of doing things must be lower relative to last year, the productivity must be up, efficiency must be up and the leadership, be it private or public, are stewards of wealth, they are held accountable,” he stressed.

The Outgoing Stanchart CEO doubts if Ghana, and Africa, have any paradigm that underpins progressive economic philosophies and management.

The impression, he gets, constantly, is that “we are still running on the paradigms from the 1950s and 1960s. Just go to any government office and undertake any transaction and [see the] shocking level of inefficiency.”

He bemoaned the culture of taking key factors, such as capital, information flow, supportive labour laws, stable macroeconomic environment, for granted, warning that, failure to tackle all these factors will create the conditions for economic stagnation.

As things stand now, Ghana is not “a fine-tuned economic engine and we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work on that,” Mr Badu-Addo advised.

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