After 55 years of independence, Ghana is yet to take control of her economy.
The running of the economy has always been one way with the over reliance on gold, cocoa and timber.
This is because the country has neglected and steadily destroyed the infrastructure and industrial base put in place by the first Convention People’s Party government in the 1960s.
These were the thoughts of the party’s current chairperson, Ms Samia Nkrumah, daughter of Ghana’s first president Dr Kwame Nkrumah over the weekend on the occasion of the 47th anniversary of the overthrow of her father in 1966.
According to Ms. Samia, the over reliance on the three commodities has been the norm since 1911 and “the structure of our economy has not really changed in over 100 years”.
She called for an alternative framework for socio-economic transformation and diversification of Ghana’s exports.
“We need a structural change in our economy, which adds value to our agricultural produce and our precious minerals, through processing, increasing our manufacturing capabilities, and developing our skills for improved labour productivity using existing technology,” Samia wrote in a piece posted on her Facebook page.
“All these are possible if we adopt a different way of working from what we have now. This alternative framework will consolidate ownership of our natural resources. There are some good examples around us for maximizing returns on our resources,” she adds.
Samia made compared Ghana and Botswana. She said Botswana has close to 50% shares in its diamond mines as well as a newly-established diamond processing plant, while in “Ghana, where we started producing gold before Botswana’s diamonds, we are yet to see the realization of a gold refinery that was almost 95 per cent complete before the 1966 coup”.
As a matter of urgency, Samia called for the need to address the challenges facing Ghana’s manufacturing sector in view of the “important role manufacturing plays in the creation of decent jobs and poverty reduction” adding that “budgets and economic policies must include concrete and innovative proposals and funding arrangements to address the bottlenecks in the sector”.
She says the country needs to support indigenous entrepreneurs through specific policies such as providing advisory services to local businesses, facilitating the establishment of industrial parks, and better access to credit.
Samia’s greatest desire is for citizens of the nation to “live through such a change in our lifetime, a transformed Ghana, that relies for its economic survival not on aid and imposed prescriptions but on increased productivity, multi-country projects within the continent, mobilizing the African diaspora etc for development to achieve economies of scale and enhance African economic independence”.
By Ekow Quandzie