By: Amos Nuamah Duodu
The productivity of any country cannot reach a competitive level unless there is much investment in industrialisation. Kwame Nkrumah thought it wise to promote industrialisation, to provide enough employment, boost the economy, and increase our chances of being self-reliant. As such, Nkrumah established over 300 factories in Ghana within 10 years. Unfortunately, successive governments abandoned (GIHOC Fibre Products Company, Glass Manufacturing Corporation at Abosso etc) , sold shares (Ghacem cement, Nsawam cannery etc), and sold full assets of these fatories to private individuals (GIHOC bottling, Ghana Oil Palm Development Company etc).
The Rebirth of Nkrumah’s Vision
Prior to election 2016, Nana Akuffo Addo promised to establish a factory in every constituency. This was given the slogan, one district one factory (1D1F). Ghanaians were expecting 275 factories since we had 275 constituencies. The people have not seen the 275 factories, as such, a lot of people say the promise to undertake 1D1F is a failure. This assertion is true in principle, but if the quest to deliver 275 factories has resulted in the construction of 28 new factories, revival of 48 existing factories, and 31 factories under construction (1d1f.gov.gh), then it is a commendable failure.
The Mediocre Argument
The issue of Nana Addo reviving existing factories and taking credit for it always come up. This notion is absurd, unpatriotic, and laughable at best. If successive governments were committed to reviving existing factories, and taking credit for it, the over 300 factories Nkrumah established would still be alive and working by now.
1D1F is beyond a manifesto promise. It should be a long-term vision of the country and any subsequent government should be committed to promoting industrialisation. It will be okay to change the slogan from 1D1F to whatever will be suitable if need be, but dropping of this fruitful long-term vision by any subsequent government will be perturbing.
The 5 challenge
With the exception of Kwame Nkrumah (who built over 300 factories in 10 years) and Nana Addo (who built 28 new factories in 3yrs), can you think of any head of state or president in the history of Ghana who built more than even five new factories?
Amos Nuamah Duodu