Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has stated that the government of Ghana in 2023 will target some specific products for import substitution through support to the private sector.

The minister delivering the 2023 budget statement and economic policy to parliament on Thursday, November 24, 2022, said the targeted products form about 45% of the value of the country’s annual imports, resulting in pressure on the cedi.

“Mr. Speaker, as I have already indicated, Ghana’s heavy dependence on imports places tremendous pressure on the Cedi, creating an unfavourable balance of payments position. On average, Ghana’s import bill exceeds US$10 billion annually and is accounted for by a diverse range of items that include iron, steel, aluminium, sugar, rice, fish, poultry, palm oil, cement, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, Toilet roll, toothpick, fruit juices, etc. ," he said.

Mr Ofori-Atta said the government through partnerships with the private sector will ensure the establishment of various manufacturing plants to produce such products locally.

“We currently have the capacity as a country to locally produce items that account for about 45 percent of the value of our annual imports. These include rice, fish, sugar, poultry, cement, pharmaceuticals, jute bags, computers, etc. To this end, Government will target these products for import substitution by supporting the private sector, through partnerships with existing and prospective businesses to expand, rehabilitate and establish manufacturing plants targeted at producing these selected items,” the minister said.

With the country’s current economic challenges and ballooning debt rates, the 2023 budget policy is expected to help recalibrate Ghana’s economy.

The government of Ghana is currently engaged with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an economic bailout.