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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Columnist: Terry Afram-Kumi & Solomon Bimoktey

Ghanaian innovative spirit is key to Ghana's post-COVID economic recovery

Necessity, they say is the mother of invention.

When the need for something becomes essential you are forced to find ways of achieving it.

The recovery of Ghana’s economy will not happen by chance or luck.

It will happen through the Ghanaian innovative spirit and practical leadership that delivers timely results.

In this writeup, we explain how the innovative spirit was key to manufacturing PPE’s in the early stages of the pandemic and how that same innovative spirit can be harnessed to lead to Ghana’s shared economic prosperity.

Alan through his leadership at the Ministry of Trade, spearheaded numerous interventions to make available to the ordinary Ghanaian the very essential products needed to combat and defeat the deadly virus.

Alan Kyerematen has shown that he’s able to unleash this Ghanaian innovative spirit and that was exemplified stronger than ever when the COVID-19 pandemic struck at Ghana’s door.

His strategic initiatives that unleashed the innovative spirit of Ghanaians to manufacture PPE’s, heralded a boom in the local production of nose masks, hand sanitizers, liquid soaps, tissues, and to mention but a few.

Alan’s Ministry demonstrated to be “One Step Ahead” to cushion the harm and danger the pandemic would have on Ghana.

This is what we call “Strategic Intuitive Leadership”.

The Ghanaian Creativity to Manufacture:

The creativity to produce PPE’s en masse, whilst America and other European countries like Britain, France and Germany were fighting amongst themselves for deliveries of PPE’s from China was a masterstroke.

Ghana’s case was different, because of Alan’s consistent and fierce determination to ensure that Ghana produces what it will consume.

The “Made in Ghana” nose masks produced from Ghana’s garment industry were very common on the faces of Ghanaian school children, farmers, market women, government workers, Chiefs, lawmakers, and to mention but a few.

Today, if Ghana doesn't import PPE's, thanks to the leadership shown by Alan Kyerematen.

He’s an icon of Africanism and an ever-ready industrialist willing to pursue every course of action to promote and actualize the vision of “Made in Ghana”.

His energy and drive to see "Made in Ghana" products compete favourably with other commodities on the international shelves are commendable.

Alan’s Results-Oriented Leadership:

Alan Kyerematen is a leader that delivers when needed most.

When the call of duty arises he shows up and is counted as worthy of excellence.

When Covid-19 first set foot in Ghana, it was common knowledge to hear stories of the struggles of developed countries trying hard to procure PPE’s from China.

Here in Ghana, the story was very different.

This was because Alan Kyerematen actualized the vision of a Ghana that is a producer not a consumer as a priority.

This is the type of vision that focuses and delivers on what we as Ghanaians can do for ourselves rather than what others can do for us.

That is the winning model that has transformed the economies of advanced countries like America, China, Germany, Britain and the like.

Alan’s creative thinking is ultimately intended to achieve practical solutions that solve Ghana’s economic challenges the Ghanaian way.

The building of Ghanaian products through the 106 factories is a testament to the acceleration of this creative vision from an industrial genius.

Import Substitution to Create Jobs:

Ghanaian goods can now be produced on a large scale and the net effect is job creation.

Any country that just harvests raw materials cannot create the needed jobs that its economy needs.

Mass employment can only be achieved through modern industrial initiatives by a country.

When a country has a modern industrial strategy, it can add value to its raw materials, gain three times (3x) more revenue, and also employ more people than just exporting the raw products.

The excess production can then be exported beyond Ghana’s borders and this creates thousands of jobs for the teeming youth of Ghana and also precious foreign exchange to stabilize our cedi.

In fact, from the beginning of the pandemic, due to the shortage of PPE's and hand sanitizers, people took undue advantage of the situation and started selling these products at exorbitant prices.

This was until we realized our potential and seized the initiative through creative actions that were led Alan Kyerematen to use the garment industry to produce the PPE's in large quantities.

Significantly, the FDA and then NBSSI all under his Ministry of Trade and Industry, all swiftly identified and delivered licenses to producers of hand sanitizers and Covid-19 protective products.

These workable initiatives helped prevent corruption and reduced the prices of PPE's for the ordinary Ghanaian to purchase, stay safe, and secured from this deadly virus.

This created a lot of jobs for Ghanaian businessmen and women in the production of these PPE's.

The revenues generated from the manufacturing and sales of PPE's stayed right here in Ghana and taxes from it added to the national kitty.

This proved to the advanced nations and other African countries that Ghana can be a manufacturing hub and has positioned herself to take full advantage of the AfCFTA initiative.

The Ghanaian industries have proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are proactive can take advantage of business opportunities to manufacture right here in Ghana, which will ultimately lead to our post-Covid economic recovery.

Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has proven to be a competent economist that is ready and able to deliver the structural transformation of our economy; from one that is consumer-driven to an economy that is producer-led.

This reinforces the notion that indeed industrialization is the first step to accelerating the economic fortunes as a nation.

The “Made in Ghana” vision, is an endorsement of the creativity of the Ghanaian and this has to be accelerated post-COVID.

The Ghanaian is capable of producing what we wear, eat, drink and even sleep on.

Hope for the Unemployed Youth Post-COVID-19:

There's hope for the unemployed youth post-COVID.

There is a workable and sustainable vision where multiple angles of jobs can be created from this powerful "Made in Ghana" vision.

It's no wonder that on Friday, July 30th, Alan Kyerematen declared on Asempa 94.7 FM in an interview that his Ministry is developing ten (10 ) new industries.

Through this industrial revolution (106 factories), farmers are hopeful that when they scale up their operations there will be a huge demand for their produce from the operational factories in 134 districts all over Ghana.

CONCLUSION:

It’s now an unquestionable fact that Alan’s practical approach to industrialization based on Ghanaian characteristics is the way forward post-Covid-19.

It’s the right, tried and tested path to create the jobs Ghanaian youth need.

The Ghanaian youth should be hopeful that there’s a modern industrial plan that will cater to its creativity.

This is all possible because of the practical works of a great industrial titan of our time.

This practical and effective way of tapping into the creativity of the Ghanaian youth industrially is the first step to fixing our economy.

As it will ensure the provision of high-skilled jobs and decent income for the teeming youth.

Made in Ghana by Ghanaians is a rallying cry for all Ghanaians to get involved.

It's a vision that is at the center of a Ghana beyond aid.

Unleashing Ghanaian creativity through industrialization post-COVID-19 is what will lead to Ghana’s economic prosperity for all.

It will also create mass employment for Ghanaians.