Undoubtedly, we are all inclined towards industrial society through value addition to our raw materials to satisfy our needs and for the export market, to boost our foreign exchange earnings.
Certainly, this would make us competitive on the world market. By so doing we would increase job opportunities for the burgeoning youthful population, increase wealth and reduce poverty.
Setting up industries in proximity to sources of raw materials would result in job creation, especially in the rural areas so as to check rural-urban drift, with its attendant social vices.
The rich western countries and other parts of the world have transited from agrarian societies to industrial ones through the “Industrial Revolution.”
They are obviously reaping the benefit of the Industrial Revolution, turning raw materials into finished goods and exporting their products to other parts of the world.
Soon after Independence, we also chose the path of industrialisation, through the establishment of import substitution industries as our development strategy to realise our goal of a new Africa- a self reliant nation.
The setting up of the industries in rural places like the Zuarungu Meat factory and Rice Mill and the Pwalugu Tomatoes Factory, in the Upper East Region of Ghana (formerly part of the British Northern Protectorate) helped in opening up the remote and least developed part of the country to other parts of the country.
Indeed the rural industrialisation development strategy helped to reduce poverty in the area and significantly reduced rural-urban migration.
We have seen efforts at the resuscitation of our industralisation, after the virtual collapse of the industries under the Ghana Industries Holding Corporation due to military coup d’ etats and paradigm shift in subsequent development agenda.
In recent times factories such as the Ayensu Starch Factory was established with the same reason of creating wealth in rural area as part of our industrialisation drive. The company was supposed to produce industrial starch to feed Ghanaian factories and for the export market. The factory was to take advantage of cassava growing areas in the Central, Eastern and Greater Accra, which are in close proximity to the factory.
We recall negative comments that were made soon after the birth of the factory. As a result, the factory has never known “peace” and subsequently, the country has not derived the full benefit of the facility because it has not been able to produce at full capacity.
Similarly, the Komenda Sugar Factory which was established for the same good reason to create wealth for rural folks is facing the same fate of “negative comments and curses.”
We have heard of unfortunate comments like “I/or we told you so,” “it will not work”, “it is a still birth,” “it is dead before it was established.” All these comments are retrogressive!
It is important for us as Ghanaians, to be mindful of our comments and to offer constructive criticism on national projects so that it does not run down protects that are in the national interest.
We should know that such facilities are established with the tax payers’ resources and we have no option than to make them work.
It is our humble opinion that we have an industrialisation policy that will transcend political persuasions to help us in the sustainable development agenda 2030, of poverty reduction and wealth creation.
We must support our industrialisation efforts to work in Ghana!!