A 70% import dependent economy is no economy – Mike Oquaye makes case for local industries

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Former Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye has challenged the government to focus on saving and investing in local industries as a solution to challenges in the economic situation in the country.

Speaking as a guest of honour at the 60th anniversary launch of the University of Ghana Political Science Department Friday, July 22, the statesman noted that it was erroneous to attribute the economic crisis of Ghana to COVID 19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.

He maintained that the country’s overdependence on importation of goods, especially agricultural products was to blame for the country’s present woes.

“COVID and Ukraine war etc have hit us very badly, yes, but it’s important to observe that what we are experiencing today are really symptomatic. An economy which is over 70 percent import dependent is no economy.
“If a global pandemic worse than COVID should arrive or a global war bigger than Ukraine arises and no ship comes into our ports for over a year or two and for that matter the sugar, rice, flour, Indomie etc do not enter our nation anymore, shall we merely die? It’s a question worth asking,” Prof Oquaye intimated.

Speaking on the theme, “Charting transformative leadership for global development” he called for a revised approach to industrialization and urged government to focus more on growing infant industries.

“Our economy should be restructured so that we first and foremost feed ourselves with our own. If this is impossible, then we don’t deserve to exist as a nation.
“We need to put our act together and produce to eat. We should look at our agrobased local industries to process, store and distribute food, juices, etc. How can the mangoes be rotting in Mangoase, Dodowa etc, and other fruits in other parts of Ghana rot while we languish? We need to industrialise, produce more by agric and preserve them.”

According to Prof Oquaye, there is the need to close the borders to importation of goods that can be produced locally to strengthen the industries in the country.
Citing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) arrangement, he affirmed that no industrialized country in the world attained its status without isolating itself from the beginning.

“The right to protect to protect infant industries is a global human right. Foreign goods and other agric products should be banned to save our nation,” he added.

By Laud Adu-Asare|3news.com|Ghana

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