Feature Article of Monday, 29 October 2012
Columnist: Michael Frempong
Many Ghanaians were excited with Nana Addo (NPP presidential candidate) at the IEA encounter when he said that he wants to process raw materials here in Ghana and was committed to transform Ghana into an industrialized nation.
President Mahama (NDC presidential candidate) made similar pronouncements at the IEA encounter recently which was very encouraging. Both NDC and NPP manifestos were diagnosed to unveil the detail plans of these two presidential candidates on industrialization to find out who has genuine commitment to transform Ghana into an industrialized state and how they intend to do it.
Page 9 of NDC manifesto under Job Creation Initiatives, outlines the establishment of an integrated petroleum industry based on bauxite; Construction of a petrol-chemical industry based on salt and natural gas; A fertilizer industry to give impetus to agro-development; A salt based chemical industry for caustic soda and also an integrated iron steel industry based on the iron ore deposits at Oppon Manso in the western region.
These promises satisfy the SMA criteria which I refer to as the basic criteria for political promises. These promises are therefore Specific, Measurable and Achievable (SMA).
According to page 10 of the manifesto, the establishment of a cheap gas-fired energy will facilitate the full revival of following; Volta Aluminum Company; Textile industries and ventures ; Ceramic, brick and tile manufacturing ; Glass factories ; and Steel mills.
These are specific industries which could transform Ghana into an industrialized nation.
NPP on the other hand recognized that 'industrialization is critical to solving our major socio-economic challenges of mass poverty', (p. 43 NPP manifesto). On page 43 Chapter 2, under Industrialization for Economic Growth and Development, it reveals the objective of NPP's industrialization policy, which is to promote increased competitiveness and industrial production'.
It further states that 'we will significantly expand the manufacturing sector, promote agro-based industrial development and increase the technological capacity in the manufacturing sector’.
These statements fail to address SMA which is the basic criteria for all political promises.NPP manifesto continue to mention key to a successful dramatic shift to industrialization without mentioning a single factory they will add to the existing ones or where these industries will be built.
The NDC manifesto also highlights all its achievements on industrialization in the last three and a half years as follows; The establishment of Shea butter processing plant at Buipe; Rehabilitation of Wahome steel factory; Establishment of cement factory at Buipe, Rehabilitation of shoe factory in Kumasi.
The achievement of these specific, measurable and achievable promises are what is needed in our body politics.
Presidential candidates can only be held accountable if their promises are of SMA type.
Michael Frempong (Political Analyst-London).