President John Dramani Mahama says the government will leave no stone unturned in protecting its people from any acts of terrorism that is beginning to gain grounds in the West African region.
He said the recent attacks in three West African countries – Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast- gives Ghana every cause to be pay attention to any possible threat, noting the country’s National Security Council is assessing all possible threats to Ghana.
“Increasingly, the threat of terrorism is an issue that we need to pay attention to,” he said, explaining that the destabilisation of the north African region has led to the movement of a lot of weapons into that region saying “a lot of weapons and arms have filtered into the Saharan area. It’s becomes a bit of lawless area.”
The President Mahama gave the assurance Thursday at a meeting with the Ghanaian community in Scotland as part of his four-day tour of that country.
He said developments in Northern Mali, southern Algeria, southern Libya and that whole belt in the Sahara area has become a problematic area adding “and we are beginning to see the results stretching us far down as West Africa”
In view of that, he said the threat levels posed cannot be discounted, and that the government is doing everything possible to avert any possible attack in the country, which has been known as the beacon of peace in Africa over the years.
Addressing the people on the country’s economy, President Mahama underscored the need to diversify Ghana’s economy to make it more robust.
“One of the major challenges our economy has faced is that it has been a commodity export dependent economy and also highly import dependent and so if we are to make the economy more resilient then we need to diversify the economy so we are not just exporters of primary products. Even if we have to export primary products then we must ensure we add value to those products before exporting them,” he explained.
President Mahama said there is six commodities that Ghana has a comparative advantage to produce yet the country import them in huge commodities. He mentioned sugar, rice, oil, poultry, fish and tomato as the commodities adding “we import 1.5 billion dollars worth of those commodities every year”.
He said efforts are being put in place to drastically reduce the amount of import of these commodities, adding the government has been able to move local rice production from 30 per cent of total consumption to 60 per cent, and hopes achieve over 100 per cent and become a net exporter by year 2020.
On the energy sector, President Mahama Ghana is aiming to become the power hub for West Africa through the associated gas from the jubilee and other oil fields, noting Ghana has reserves to produce in excess of 2000 additional megawatts of power.