Mr. Emmanuel Addai, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oyoko Trading Limited, has called for support for the Government’s structural programmes to strengthen local manufacturing capacity.
“These efforts should help address the structural challenges of reliance on imports, leading to improved currency stability,” he noted.
According to the CEO, the current economic woes Ghana was saddled with was largely due to the high importation of all manner of products into the country, describing it as a disincentive to the thriving of local industries.
Mr. Addai, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Accra, said there was the need for “us as a nation to critically look at this problem vis-à-vis the implementation of the government’s ‘One District, One Factory (IDIF)’ Programme.”
“The fact is that the more you import you are helping to build other countries’ economies to the disadvantage of the local economy,” he observed.
Industrial development has been a central tenet of government policy since the start of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s term in office in 2017.
In 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) launched the 10-Point Industrial Transformation Agenda, which aims to expand the manufacturing sector, reduce unemployment and accelerate socio-economic development.
The Ministry says the programme seeks to drive investment in strategic industries such as automotives, iron and steel, pharmaceuticals, textiles, vegetable oils and fats, and industrial chemicals.
Mr. Addai said: “It is good Ghana is implementing wide-reaching policies to diversify its economy by expanding the local manufacturing capacity, however, the Government should muster courage to ban the importation of products, which ordinarily can be produced locally, including food items.”
“If this is not done, we are likely to see the IDIF become ineffective since the majority of Ghanaians have already developed the taste for foreign products,” the CEO told the GNA.
On the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi, he said, part of the problem was as a result of the Government’s inability to clamp down on the sale of the foreign currencies in the ‘black market’.