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Buy Made-in-Ghana goods campaign must succeed now!

BY: Daily Graphic

­The campaign to encourage Ghanaians to patronise made-in-Ghana goods is gaining momentum.

Ever since President John Mahama, in his State of the Nation Address in February this year, appealed to the people to develop the taste for locally made goods and even indicated at that gathering that he was wearing a locally made pair of shoes, the realisation is dawning on many more people that the country’s economic revival lies in our hands.

Anytime this topic comes up, the Daily Graphic does not lose the opportunity to draw attention to the glorious days in our history when the North Industrial Area and other places in the country served as industrial enclaves for jobs and wealth creation.

Those were the places young people from all parts of the country, whether skilled or unskilled, turned to for employment or vacation jobs.

Today, these industrial plants have become pale shadows of themselves, with some producing at very low capacities, while others have either been turned into warehouses for imported items or worship centres.

Speaking at a lecture on African Entrepreneurship at the London School of Economics last Saturday, President Mahama again emphasised the need to cut the importation of many of the goods we consume locally and turn to local products in order to provide jobs for the people.

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He said even though it was impossible for the state to return to the days when it set up factories that manufactured a range of things, including shoes, beer, tobacco, canned food, building materials, cement, bricks, tiles and nails, there was a way out through collaboration with the private sector.

In recent times, we have been told that the private sector is the engine of growth. But, unfortunately, in our part of the world this sector has been starved of the needed credit to expand and lead the quest for growth envisaged to revive the entire economy.

The Daily Graphic urges the government to provide the necessary policy interventions that will stimulate financial institutions to extend credit to budding entrepreneurs to start their businesses and existing industrialists to expand.

The present arrangement in which the productive sector competes with the “buy-and-sell” people for credit does not augur well for the kind of catalyst that we want  industrialists to provide to change the structure of the economy from the mass consumption of imported items to the production of locally made items.

The challenges that confront us in the task of changing the economy are legion, but with the determination to take our destiny in our hands, we shall get there.

The Daily Graphic is, therefore, encouraged by the determination of Horseman Shoes to be part of the revolution to motivate Ghanaians to patronise their own goods.

The Chief Executive Officer of Horseman Shoes, Mr Tonyi Senaya, is conscious of the challenges but says they can be overcome.

 “We at Horseman Shoes want to change the story.  We seek to create the environment and platform for young people with the skills and talents to maximise their potential,” he declared.

We urge everybody to make the campaign to buy made-in-Ghana goods a success to create jobs and wealth for our people. The benefits of such a campaign are to everybody’s advantage.