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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Covid-19 have to awaken Ghana’s sleeping industrial giant

Amidst the haze of uncertainty around the international corona virus crisis, there is just one detail that is particular – we will not have the luxurious of returning to the aged purchase. Any time this crisis ends, nevertheless it does, it will depart in its wake an upended international get that have to be radically rethought. It is not just mainly because we have to have to insulate ourselves in opposition to the future possible pandemic or a thing related, it is mainly because we have been pressured to confront the weaknesses of the present settlement.

Above the class of the very last era, the neo-liberal consensus, as we have come to refer to it, has brought huge development to people today in all corners of the environment. The sector-led tactic, for all the criticism it gets from furious ideologues, has lifted extra people out of poverty than any other program in history.

All around the entire world, high-quality of life has been vastly improved and obtain to life’s requirements and comforts are available to extra folks than could have been imagined by persons dwelling even a few many years ago. So in quite a few senses, the way in which we have crafted the earth has labored and it is deserving of commendation, even security.

But complicated world wide source chains, just-in-time manufacturing, stateless firms and offshoring of essential items and providers have very long experienced an untested comfortable underbelly. Till Covid-19 nonetheless, we experienced not been pressured to confront or even ponder this elephant lurking in the space.


A crisis that forces us to shut our borders and shut off interaction with other international locations even so has a way of forcing a reckoning. So when inevitably we are capable to shake palms all over again – assuming we will – we will require to recalibrate a lot a lot more than our social conduct.

Ghana has of program not been exempt from all this. Considering that the 1980s when we experienced to submit to the Bretton Woods offers, we have steadily missing our manufacturing ability. With ever-cheaper imports ever far more available, area corporations, unable to compete have folded up or reduced potential. Whilst our deindustrialisation experienced been on a march even prior to that, local conditions and world wide progress have accelerated our slide in manufacturing and even agriculture to the point the place we have to import almost every thing.

For many of us, this has been a worrying pattern. An overdependence on overseas manufacturing is not just economically imprudent it is also a countrywide security threat. A sovereign nation that is entirely reliant on situations in other nations around the world for its standard requirements is location by itself up for precisely the near-crisis we experienced when Covid-19 struck and we observed ourselves at the mercy of price tag gougers wanting to extract the very last achievable penny for a bottle of hand sanitizer.

With our ports shut and no imports coming, on the other hand, an amazing point has occurred. Neighborhood ingenuity and organization has stepped in to safeguard us from our negative decisions. To their credit score, liquor makers utilised their production models and uncooked components to enable meet the need for hand sanitizers. Nearby dress makers and tailors as nicely as some others with the ability, are supplying nose masks.


We have seen thrilling innovation from people all-around the place who are crafting hand washing and sanitisation products healthy for our peculiar no-contact second. At a substantially increased stage, we have noticed the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science Technology produce a ventilator and crew up with regional company INCAS to develop a rapid exam kit for uncomplicated analysis of Covid-19 infections. And we simply cannot forget the heroic get the job done of the staff at the College of Ghana and Noguchi Memorial Institute for Professional medical Investigate whose get the job done sequencing the genome of area strains of the virus has extra to our comprehension of it.

What all these sprinklings of innovation and company notify us is that our problem has not been so significantly 1 of potential or potential. With our self-indulgent dependence on other nations’ really hard do the job, we have allowed our personal industrial and creation techniques to wither, though complaining that we do not have it in the very first location. Thank God, they did not die entirely and have risen in the face of this necessity to demonstrate the invention that has stored us going these past few weeks. This ought to be our turning place.

Whenever Covid-19 and the info and science about it make it possible for us to return to normal, it need to not be the previous typical. Our economy will have to have rebuilding and the relationship between the state and the citizen would require to be redefined. We need to start off this process by positioning the citizen’s welfare and the wellbeing of our local production systems at the centre of our strategies. We cannot depart citizens on their have to rebuild their life and we can not allow imports to be our default decision. And these two concerns are contingent on every other.

Now that we have concrete proof of the ability and ingenuity of local businesses, we have to have a approach to help them to expand. It is gratifying that while the crisis has been on-heading, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has met leaders of market. These conversations, I imagine should really crystallise into a grand, consensus-pushed program to kindle and maintain the sleeping giant of Ghanaian market.

Just one way to do this would be to guarantee neighborhood industries of custom by making use of the great procurement may possibly of central as very well as local governments in their favour. We simply cannot ban imports but our governing administration must no more time feed mouths in other nations around the world with our tax Cedis. It must commit the cash listed here each time attainable.

On the source aspect, we now have to take even far more seriously, the government’s approach for a manufacturing facility in every single district. Partisan bickering apart, this is a laudable prepare that assures us of careers, evens out advancement across the region and will area us in a substantially improved position to stand up to the future global crisis, any time it arrives.

On each sides of the political aisle, we will have to recognise these essential truths and operate collectively to make this prepare a achievement. Regardless of whether via direct intervention, enhanced help or even via regulatory revisions, we have to make confident that we have industrial units ticking throughout this country.
Our write-up-Covid 19 reality should not be the identical as in advance of.

We have experienced a jarring wake-up contact and though it seems like we might nonetheless escape somewhat unscathed, we must not go back again to sleep. We have to use this moment as one particular to essentially redefine how our region functions. And we must start out, I post, by rebuilding our economy’s industrial and agricultural base. Which is how we will do even better when the up coming crisis comes.


The writer is the Government Secretary of the National Council for Curriculum and Evaluation (NaCCA) and an aspiring parliamentary prospect of the New Patriotic Social gathering in Kwesimintsim in the Western Region.

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