Where is Ghana’s national strategy on manufacturing? Asks Tony Oteng-Gyasi
Industrialist and former president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr Tony Oteng-Gyasi, is irked that Ghana has over the years prioritised talking over concrete action on how to move the economy from import-led to an industrialised one, where local businesses will dominate the pace of growth.
He also lampooned the indiscipline at the ports, which he says allows mislabled and undervalued items to flood the market and result in underpricing, causing domestic businesses to collapse.
Speaking at the ongoing BUSINESS/Stanbic Bank Breakfast forum on manufacturing at the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra on the theme: ‘Unlocking Economic Growth Through Manufacturing - Cost Quality And Competitiveness’, Dr Oteng-Gyasi said the country seemed lost on how to replace imports with locally produced goods.
"Where is our national strategy on fruit processing, on manufacturing?" he quipped.
"Ours is just a country where we talk, moan and agonise. We have launched a lot of trade policies where we have fanfare and after that we go to sleep," he said, explaining that the country has failed to keep pace with innovations in industrialisation.
He said it is regrettable that Ghana lost its rights as a manufacturer of television sets, electric fans, pressing irons and bulbs due to its inability to invest in research and development.
He said although the country has smart brains, the environment is stifling, resulting in a weakening economy.