President Nana Akufo-Addo, has cut sod for the construction of Ghana's first modern foundry and machine tooling centre, which will produce agro-processing machines and equipment, farming implements, and spare parts for maintenance and repairs.
Cutting the sod for the commencement of construction on Monday, President Akufo-Addo explained that, once completed, the facilities at the Centre will provide technical support for policy initiatives of Government such as “One District, One Factory”, which is already in place in many districts across the country, and is providing jobs for Ghanaian youth.
“More importantly, the foundry and machine tooling centre will put us in a position to develop and grow the talents of skilled and innovative young Ghanaians, who graduate from our schools, colleges and universities,” he added.
The President explained that the establishment of the Foundry and Machine Tooling Centre is a key component of a much broader strategic framework that is designed to ensure that Ghana's socio-economic development is driven by Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
Explaining the rationale for the establishment of the Centre, President Akufo-Addo noted that the structure of economies bequeathed to countries in sub-Saharan Africa by colonialism was aimed at servicing its needs, promoting, essentially, raw material producing and exporting economies, which imported manufactured commodities from the industries of the colonial power.
“Ever since the celebrated British Governor of colonial Gold Coast, Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, left our shores in 1928, Ghana's economy, like that of many countries on the continent, has generally remained structurally rigid, depending largely on exports of primary commodities such as gold, cocoa, bauxite and timber,” he said.
The President continued, “A major contributory factor to this situation has been the fact that our country imports almost all of the equipment, machinery, and parts that support industry, especially in the manufacturing sector. This has not allowed the manufacturing base of our country to grow and expand, and has, thus, rendered our economy incapable of creating the thousands and thousands of jobs that our young people yearn for, and that will raise their living standards.”
In advocating for a “Ghana Beyond Aid”, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Government has decided to pursue the strategy of adding value to our resources, through an accelerated industrialisation strategy that exploitsthe resources of our nation.
Ghana, he said, is endowed with an abundance of land and good climate for agriculture; a rich supply of mineral and natural resources; a youthful population; we are a strong democracy and politically stable country; and we are now the headquarters of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), with a market of some 1.2 billion people, targeted to reach 2.5 billion by 2050.