The President made this known in a speech at the London Business School’s Africa Summit, on the theme “Scaling for Impact – the Important role of Industrialisation.”
He indicated that unless Ghana industrialises with the goal of adding value to her primary products, the country cannot create the necessary numbers of good-paying jobs that will enhance the living standards of Ghanaians.
“Raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for the masses. The way to that goal, the goal of ensuring access to prosperity, is value addition activities in a transformed and a diversified modern economy, with a modernised agriculture. In other words, the industrial development of our economy, which takes on board the aid of digital technology,” he added.
Importance of Education
Industrialization, the President said, can only be successful with a workforce that is equipped and skilled and can compete effectively on the global market.
Any country that aims to transform itself into a modern productive player in the global marketplace must get its educational policies right, adding that the countries that have made rapid progress around the world put education at the heart of their development.
Citing the example of the United States of America’s transitioning to publicly funded high school education in the mid-19th century, President Akufo-Addo stated that the experiment paid off, and America set herself up for 20th century success, creating a workforce fit for rapid economic development, which has inspired the emergence of the most powerful economy so far known to human history.
“Indeed, other nations, who began their lives as independent states at the same time as we did, like Singapore, Malaysia and Korea, have emulated a similar model, and have also achieved great economic success. In fact, in their case, they followed Japan’s excellent example,” he said.
Through the policy of Free Senior High School education introduced in September 2017, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that 90,000 more students gained access to Senior High School in 2017 than they did in 2016.
“We are of the firm conviction, also, that we shall be able to transform Ghana’s economy and reduce unemployment, when we pay attention to technical and vocational training. That is where the skills needed for the modern economy can be developed,” the President added.
Ghana, President Akufo-Addo stated, can become a regional centre for light manufacturing for some 350 million people in the ECOWAS Community, “by weaving together our numerous natural resources, like food produce, bauxite, iron ore, oil and gas, with our talents and energy.”
By: Jubilee House