GHANA AT SOMETHING-SOMETHING - PART 1
I wake up early every morning just to catch the morning show hoping that I'll meet one of those rare occasions where a technocrat is invited to share his thoughts on the many "challenges" Ghana faces...But what do I get? Bureaucrats who try to gain face for their parties or try to spread their own political image and ambition. "Government" has become that figure which we can all safely point fingers at because guess what,they make it very easy. A few years ago news broke out about a man who manufactured cars from scratch. Wow! I thought at that time that definitely Ghana was on its way to becoming a world power. The man not only made cars but everyday appliances like TV sets,W.C's, airplanes, generator sets and what have you - all from scratch....he wasn't just assembling parts. By now you at least have an inkling of who I I'm going on about (I won't put down his name ,that's if you are waiting for confirmation). Now I would like you to perform an exercise with me.It's usually called DREAMING. Sit, relax and....... Dream of a Ghana where the "government" quickly pulls all the stops and invests heavily in an individual who is able to make cars using his own resources. Such that all vehicles used right from the executive office down to the our public schools are made in Ghana. Where all public buses are made in Ghana and no more do we import decade old IVECO and TATA buses. In this dreams,as "Government", I'll partner with the man such that we can bring a third partner like TATA who have vast experience in mass production of vehicles and setup manufacturing sites all over the country where the buses and cars will be made. So now instead of importing spares from overseas,we make them right here. I hope by now, you, mister/miss reader can see the picture I am painting. With such sites all over the country,
1)Our employment issues are dealt with (forget the rush for nursing and teaching training allowances)
2) Money made in Ghana stays in Ghana (forget IMF and currency depreciation)
3) Ghanaians gradually develop the sense of belonging as they sit in and use their homemade vehicles. (forget Navara,Explorer and Hilux, even Tundra) In the long run,our products will start competing with big car makers because the rest of the African countries particularly ECOWAS countries will buy these made in Ghana products (look at the story of TATA and Mahindra). As president, my official jet will be made in my homeland by my own people flying high our national colours so the world will see us (forget Boeing and Airbus). End of dream.
Sometime ago, I had the opportunity to meet the man and "taste" his products. I saw his cars and drove in them, I can say (with my mediocre expertise) they don't lose in any way to the well known brands. What really caught my attention was the car that ran completely on battery power because most of such cars I've seen were small compact cars but this was an SUV. So I thought the car would ran for a few meters and that would be it. I was pleasantly surprised as this car kept running for hours at speeds over 80kmph. When I asked how the fuel was recharged, I got to know the car run on ingeniously created batteries which can easily be recharged at any power outlet like the way one would plug in an iron. Currently the man has set up a manufacturing plant in the central region where he even struggles to make 100 cars with his limited resources and with the current power "challenges". The sitting "government" has promised to be the first buyers of his cars,what of you and I? Will they really follow through with their promise? Recently as I traveled across the central region on the Twifo Praso - Assin Fosu road (which is torture to travel on), I saw a sign post pointing to a rundown house which read, "Nti Ghana paa nie?" Which roughly translates as "is this what Ghana has been reduced to?" Has Mr./Miss Reader been confused by the way this missive seems to jump from one subject to another seemingly without a focus? Do you see it strange that I put the word challenges and government in quotation marks?
The Above is the First in the Series of Articles Titled "Ghana at Something Something" .
Written By :
Wogbe-Dogoe Robert Dzidedi Kwaku (Bsc. Chemistry, KNUST)