Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, spoke on the processes of ‘Producing to Compete Globally during the Citi Business Festival on-air series.
These are five insights from the presentation.
Ghana must prepare a workforce for factory work
Robert Ahomka-Lindsay noted the need for a workforce prepared to work in factories.
“Not everybody is going to be a boss. The vast majority of Ghanaians are going to work in a 9 to 5 environment,” he said.
The former deputy minister said Ghanaians needed to be taught the disciple of clocking in and out of factory jobs.
Government must support selected local companies
Robert Ahomka-Lindsay believes the government must not shy away from preferential treatment because there aren’t enough resources to support all local manufacturing companies.
He suggested that the government targets a few companies in selected sectors to create a strong manufacturing foundation.
“Samsung was not created just like that… there was a consistent, concerted effort to push them,” he noted.
Government must make more of the American and EU market
Robert Ahomka-Lindsay said programmes like the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, allow for duty-free exports of over 6000 products to the United States of America.
We are just not making them,” he lamented.
Government must not favour services over manufacturing
Robert Ahomka-Lindsay posited that a focus on manufacturing is better suited to Ghana’s current status.
He noted that the “vast chunk of our population is actually better suited to the manufacturing than to the services.”
Thus, Ghana should be eyeing labour-intensive industries because of our need for jobs.
Ghana must not look outward for solutions
Robert Ahomka-Lindsay stressed that nobody outside Ghana is going to tell you how to develop Ghana.
“We need to really bear that in mind always. None of them will love Ghana more than themselves,” he said.