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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Columnist: Joel Savage

Ghana could have been Africa’s leading producer of bamboo bicycles if we have wise leaders

The writer says producing bamboo bicycles will help to reduce crime, such as armed robbery The writer says producing bamboo bicycles will help to reduce crime, such as armed robbery

In a country that unemployment is the biggest issue, successive Ghanaian leaders should have monitored the labor market for the creation of new jobs in the context of industries and territories but this has never happened, while the unemployment rate keeps rising.

Unfortunately, the private-owned local industries, including those engaged in entrepreneurial activities, artisans, members of family enterprises, production cooperatives, and farmers, which could given meaningful unemployment to many Ghanaians and the youth, have been completely neglected by the Ghanaian government.

Miss Winifred Selby, a Ghanaian, at the age of 15, could probably be the first woman in the world, inspired to make bicycles with bamboo trees before China’s David Wang, who started building bamboo bicycles in 2013, at a price of 2,000 Yuan, which is around £216 or $322.

The fact that streets in Ghana are built without bicycle lanes for cyclists, the promotion of bamboo bicycle in the country, and the search for international markets which could have fetched the country foreign exchange to boost its economy, are not priorities to the Ghanaian government.

To fill the corruption gap, the introduced high taxation system has collapsed many local businesses in Ghana and the government is not interested to assist the survived struggling industries.

For example, in Ghana is an automobile industry, Kantanka, yet the government promotes foreign auto-mobile industries in the country, which profits go back to the respective foreign countries.

Bamboo bicycles are not only environmentally friendly, but it can also be a sustainable local employment business which can engage hundreds of the unemployed youth, if the Ghanaian government assist private owned businesses, including the bamboo bicycle and Kantanka industries.

It is now impossible to drive smoothly through Ghana due to traffic congestion. This problem has been solved in the developed world by constructing more widened, overhead roads and safe bicycle routes, which never exist anywhere in Ghana to help reduce the traffic congestions polluting the air.

Citizens have the exclusive right to dispose of their abilities for productive and creative work and to carry out any activity that will benefit the country but they are never given that chance.

The Ghanaian government instead will bring in Chinese workers, and then the same government goes to the Chinese government for loans. This negative attitude of the government doesn’t only affect the youth but also incurs debt to the country.

The government of Ghana can negotiate with owners of large private companies in the country, to assist in the professional training of persons without employment, for them to have a better future.

This will also help to reduce crime, such as armed robbery which is very common in Ghana at the moment.