[Opinion]Let’s promote made-in-Ghana goods

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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his vision to make Ghana self-reliant has put together a document with actionable, practical time-bound policies dubbed ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’. The vision of the President is to have a Ghana where we no more seek support from other nations in order to carry out our developmental agenda.

For the President’s dream to become a reality, a lot more depends upon the citizenry. In a country where majority of the citizens have developed tastes for foreign goods, developing our indigenous firms and industries becomes an uphill task.

Until the last two years of the Akufo-Addo administration which have unprecedentedly recorded more exports than imports, Ghana has been at the receiving end of more imported foreign products than it exports.

This phenomenon reveals a worrying trend of Ghana’s industrial products struggling to compete with products from China, Korea, the UK, EU, Canada and the US. Simply stating the obvious, Made-In-Ghana goods are being whipped to pulp by their imported counterparts.

Ghana’s rice production has been increasing steadily, thanks, mainly to the Government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative. For the year 2019, Ghana’s local rice production (milled) is expected to hit 600 thousand metric tons. Though an improvement over that of last year, the figure still falls short of expectations.

In 2018, Ghana spent close to US$1.6 billion on the importation of rice. This proved detrimental to the local rice farmers as a large chunk of what they produced were not purchased by Ghanaians. This seeping of over a billion dollars out of the country has a telling effect on the economy. It affects the cedi’s strength against other international currencies.

Consuming foreign products develops their countries of origin. Eating foreign food items, using clothes imported from outside Ghana, patronizing goods produced outside our shores give employment opportunities to the youth of the countries they are imported from and this becomes inimical to local companies.

Recently, some media personalities and outfits have been at the forefront advocating the need to patronize Made-In-Ghana goods. They give many compelling reasons why we should buy Ghana and eat Ghana as that is the surest way through which our local industries can thrive.

The One District One Factory initiative of the governing New Patriotic Party is set to enroll several factories into the system to produce goods of varied forms and shapes. As a matter of fact, over fifty of these factories are in operation. If we shun products produced by them, how do we expect the country to develop? We must all make concerted efforts to preach about the need to buy and eat Made-In-Ghana goods. We owe it a duty to promote products manufactured locally.

Source: ABC Newspaper

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