Manufacturing? We need more than that.

DeamOval Limited chief executive officer, Derrydean Dadzie reckons manufacturing alone cannot be the panacea to Ghana’s current economic woes.

The dynamics of getting a manufacturing system together in Ghana make it quite difficult for the country to benefit tremendously from the manufacturing of anything.

Take Ghana courting internationally based companies to invest in any sector in Ghana, you realize we may end up with a shareholding and business models between the State and the International Companies which yields no significant valuable dividends for the country.

What we face is a situation of ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’

Key concern areas, will be limited local contents in the operations of the factory, contract terms and tax regimes that nullifies any financial gains to the state.

Typical examples are how our mining sector has yet to boost our economy, compared to a country like South Africa, and how we are yet to figure out as a country how to make our oil find become a valuable asset to the people of Ghana.

To make local manufacturing make sense, local investment should be significant in establishing that factory or plant. Models that enable the utilization of local contents should be clearly laid out prior to the execution of any plan.

What we face is a situation of “He who pays the piper calls the tune”. There is this running excuse of locals or government not having the money to make the needed investment to increase its stake in any venture between Ghana and its foreign business partners.

Coming out of such situation will then require the country focusing on building sectors that local entrepreneurs have the advantage, from a capability perspective and also from a capital requirement perspective.

Here, the Services Industry comes to into focus. Let’s take the technology sector and hone in on the provision of software services for example. This is one area Ghana can make do with its quest to increase the use of home-grown solutions.

We have public data and system efficiency issues that the IT industry in Ghana can solve. Do we need to go to India? No. Can we solve the problems with local solutions? Big Yes! Will it save Ghana money? Yes. Will it reduce the pressure on our local currency? Yes. Will it create jobs in the economy? Yes. Will it have cross-effects in the evolving of other sectors such as packaging, media, agro-processing and health? Yes.

• Also read: Ghana seeks home-grown solutions

Ghana necessarily needs to start from a position of local advantage. Moving from our position of advantage, public sector attitude towards business and local entrepreneurs need to be overhauled.

Customer service should be fixed as matter of urgency. The culture of it is public service so it has the right not to be world-class has to be obviated. Information should be made easily accessible and actionable in an Omni-channel perspective. If I want to know about any policy, tax requirement, set up a business, I should be able to do it over my phone, tablet, PC, or at venue at any time and the net-result should also on time.

Finally, in the same vein Ghana has set up Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to drive investment into Ghana, it is time to have a complimentary agency to promote Ghana solutions outside Ghana.

We need a model like International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, to dedicatedly market Ghana entrepreneurs, enterprises and solutions to the outside world.

Derrydean Dadzie, CEO DreamOval Limited, Ghana

(This article was published in on the 6th of November 2015)

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