Yaw Nsarkoh — A business executive
Yaw Nsarkoh — A business executive

Industrialisation agenda: Economic structure needs change now - Yaw Nsarkoh propose

A business Executive, Yaw Nsarkoh, has called for urgent structural changes to the economy to provide the platform that pragmatically supports the country’s industrialisation agenda.

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He said the country’s current economic system was underpinned by a neo-liberal identity and colonial structure-based format which could never take off unless it was transformed with a long-term plan in mind.

“We need to have a structural change of our economy; we must shed away this neo-liberal economy and begin to sit 

down,work out a framework to achieve a shared prosperity,” the executive coach stated.

Speaking during the Graphic Business Twitter (X) Dialogue series,the internationally acclaimed business executive coach said the country would not be able to fully leverage its resources and drive its industrialisation agenda if the status quo remained.

The Twitter Spaces dialogue, which was hosted by the Assistant Editor,Graphic Business,Charles Benoni Okine,was on the theme: Ghana’s Trade Vulnerabilities – Why does Ghana import more than it exports?

Mr Nsarkoh described the country’s present international trade vulnerability as unfortunate, saying the phenomenon should be a wake-up call for a comprehensive rethink towards a direction where the structure of the economy would be transformed to benefit the entire population and not a minute few in society.

His thoughts were premised on the 2022 Ghana International Trade Vulnerability Report authored by the Ghana Statistical Service.

The report highlights Ghana’s international trade vulnerability which has the potential to constrain the strengthening of the Ghanaian economy.

Key report outcomes

According to the report,four commodities (gold bullion,crude petroleum,cocoa beans,cocoapaste) constitute about threequarters (75 per cent) of all of Ghana’s
exports.

For imports,219 different commodities make up about threequarters (75 per cent) of all imports.

Half of the country’s exports were to four countries,namely Switzerland,China,Canada and South Africa),while imports from China,the UK,Netherlands,USA, India and Switzerland made up about half (50 per cent) of the
country’s imports.

The report also identified that it is only in Africa and North America that the value of exports exceeds imports.

No opportunities

Mr Nsarkoh,a former Executive Vice-President of Unilever,linked the present economic challenges to the lack of opportunities for the majority of the people.

He projected that the trend might lead to a huge explosion of the underprivileged who would vent their spleen on the few rich ones the country had produced and that might lead to a collapsed
society.

“We are producing people who have nothing to lose; we are creating a society where there are 10 rich people and 10 million beggars,” the corporate governance,organisational strategy and leadership expert bemoaned.

Mr Nsarkoh stated that the timidity of current politicians in the country could not bring about such change until the country got a courageous leader who could be bold enough to deliver it from its economic predicament.

He revealed that 33 per cent of the population which was employed in agriculture resorted to subsistence farming and called for the modernisation of agriculture in the country.

Mr Nsarkoh noted that Nigeria, which had the largest economy on the continent, deprived a country such as Ghana from exporting products into that country despite being part of a regional bloc, ECOWAS, aside from the many trade agreements between the two nations.

“Ghana must understand the tensions and contradictions of the world economy, our acute trade vulnerabilities cement the neo-liberal economy which has currently bedevilled us; neo-liberalism has not transformed any economy anywhere,” the executive coach said.

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The business executive questioned the rationale behind the country not exporting products to South American countries in spite of their huge populations and cultural links, adding that the country must be competitive in export and build a strong value chain that can create industrialisation in the long term.

Mr Nsarkoh called for a long-term development plan that eschewed any political whims and caprices and the formulation of a coherent and deliberate economic structure that would make structural constrictors go away and change the ‘Guggisberg’ economy that the country was currently practising.

“Since independence, we have not crossed $3,000 per capita and it is a tragedy,” he stated.

He called on the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to engage his counterpart in Nigeria to dismantle the trade barriers between the two nations and ensure that Ghana exported a sizeable amount of goods to that country the same way it did to Ghana.

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The Twitter X Dialogue series cuts across all the Graphic Communications Group Ltd brands as a strategy to keep the conversation alive on key national issues.

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