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Opinions of Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Columnist: Solomon Bikmotey & Terry Afram-Kumi

Industrialization with Ghanaian characteristics the Alan way

Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry Alan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry

"Produce what we consume and consume what we produce" is the slogan of our hard-working Minister of Trade & Industry.

Alan Kyerematen has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is a global ambassador of the “Made in Ghana” vision.

From the conception of the vision of a continental free trade area to its implementation, Alan has proven beyond doubt that he is a competent and practical economist.

In this write-up, we tell the story of a results-oriented and practical economist who is at the heart of the "industrial wave" that is currently blowing all over Ghana.

THE GARMENT AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY:

Alan Kyerematen's other name is Mr. “Made in Ghana”. This is a name he has earned through his competent execution of the African ingenuity in producing beautiful outfits through the local garment manufacturing industry.

He has demonstrated to the entire world that in Ghana we can produce and create jobs for the numerous graduates who graduate from the tertiary and second cycle institutions.

This vision ought to be intensified to accelerate job creation opportunities for the thousands of students that that will graduate from the Free SHS program and our tertiary institutions.

Alan introduced the national Friday wear concept where the African print is worn as a way of promoting our “Made In Ghana” products in our institutions on Fridays.

This created a sense of ownership and belief in the "Made in Ghana" vision which reignited the passion and desire to buy Ghanaian African wear with the ultimate aim of sustaining our indigenous enterprises and also maintaining the jobs for the youth that are created in this industry.

In Ghana, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) constitute about 80% of the total workforce. Therefore having a strategy to support this base by having an industry that creates sustainable jobs for this SME base is a masterstroke.

Mr “Made in Ghana”, has consistently given the SME’s a space in his heart to market their products both locally and internationally.

As Ghana's Ambassador to the USA, Alan played a leading role in ensuring AGOA initiative became successful.

This helped Made in Ghana wear access to the huge US market.

The dressmakers call him "Mr. Africa" and the tailors call him "Mr. African wear".

The garment industry is even about to go another step higher with AfCFTA providing another excellent and huge continental market avenue "Made in Ghana” products.

COVID-19 AND THE GHANAIAN INNOVATIVE SPIRIT:

Necessity, they say is the mother of invention.

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

Indeed, “Mr. Made in Ghana”, exemplified this stronger than ever when the COVID-19 pandemic struck at Ghana’s door.

Alan Kyerematen, through 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.

This strategic initiative, heralded a boom in the local production of nose masks, hand sanitisers, liquid soaps, tissues, and to mention but a few.

His Ministry demonstrated to be “One Step Ahead”, to cushion the harm and danger this pandemic would have on Ghana.

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

Ghana’s case was different, because of Alan’s consistent and fierce determination to the “Made in Ghana” vision.

The “Made in Ghana” nose masks 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 "Mr. Made in Ghana"; 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 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 "Mr. Made in Ghana", prioritized what we can do for ourselves rather than what others can do for us.

That is the winning model that has transformed the economies of these advanced countries.

Every Ghanaian must raise his hand to salute "Mr. Made in Ghana", for his creative thinking to accelerate Ghanaian goods beyond our borders and thereby created thousands of jobs for the teeming youth.

In fact, from the beginning of the pandemic, due to the shortage of PPE's and hand sanitisers, 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 the actions that were led Alan Kyerematen to use the garment industry to produce the PPE's en mass.

Significantly, the FDA and then NBSSI all under his Ministry of Trade and Industry all swiftly identified and delivered licenses to producers of hand sanitisers and Covid 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 potent and can be proactive to take advantage of business opportunities that will ultimately lead to our post-Covid economic boom.

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 our economic fortunes as a nation.

The “Made in Ghana” vision, is an endorsement of the capability that the Ghanaian is capable of producing what we wear, eat, drink and even sleep on.

There's hope for the unemployed youth that 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, farmers are hopeful that when they scale up their operations there will be huge demand for their produce from the 104 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 a testament to his love to create jobs for Ghanaians.

The local Ghanaian shoemaker has hope that his shoes will appear in shops in Harare or Nairobi.

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

The herbalist will also be confident, that when he adds value to his herbs and is certified by the FDA, there's a huge market beyond the borders of Ghana for his products.

This practical and effective way 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 is the order of the day.

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

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

Industrialization with Ghanaian characteristics is our best bet to secure our post-COVID-19 economic prosperity for all.

Alan, the Industry Game Changer.

Alan, The Made In Ghana Visioneer.

The Made In Ghana Ambassador.

The Icon of Made in Africa.