One need not belabour the fact that, Ghana’s economy could only thrive when the nation produces locally and patronise it as the saying goes “grow what you eat and eat what you grow.”
However in as much as we taunt the horn to buy locally made goods we also have to look at the limitations.
Over the years, it has become acceptable that locally made product are inferior and so no matter the quality and cost, the imported goods stand the chance of breaking through the Ghanaian market while locally made goods suffer.
The assumption even though not the whole truth, there may be a point, that finishing and packaging of home made goods leaves much to be desired.
The final product of a locally made good put people off even though the product is good, while the end goods imported goods are superb yet inferior in content.
But my interest in writing this article is the availability of locally goods on the market as compared to the imported ones.
Goods such as curtains, tablecloths, chair backs in vehicles, beads and many others are not easy to come by if one needs it.
The other issue is to do with cost. Locally made goods are invariably expensive than the imported ones. For instance, a made in Ghana shoe with a good finishing or a brand name ranges from GH₵150- GH₵300 while an imported shoe made in China ranges from GH₵50 – GH₵100.
A senior citizen told me some time ago, that he wanted to decorate entire house with locally made materials including curtains, chair backs and table clothes to demonstrate his passion towards made in Ghana goods.
He said he was surprised that the very shop he visited was full of imported curtains and when he enquired about a batik curtain he was told to purchase the fabric and give it to a tailor who would cut and sew it like curtains. He was therefore forced to buy the readily available, imported ones.
According to him the cost for the locally made curtains far outweighs the imported ones so he had no choice than to rest on the foreign products.
Launching of logos and brands to raise awareness on the need to buy made in Ghana goods is good but the limitations and the issues dealing with availability and cost must be seriously looked at if locally made products would be the preferred items on the market.
It is in line with achieving this objective that Technical and Vocational Education Training must be critically positioned in the scheme of the educational pursuit to empower and build the capacity of the actors of the industry whose input is imperative in raising the standards of locally made products.
Ghana-made- goods are capable of competing favourably with the imported goods on all levels but it remains a fact that some limitations such as finishing, packaging, availability and the cost must be rigorously pursued, so that the preference for locally made goods would be high as well as employment opportunities.
By Bertha Badu-Agyei