Respected Economist and international Finance expert, Dr. Jerry Kombat Monfant has down-rated the Akufo-Addo government’s ‘One District One Factory’ infrastructural program as a poorly thought-through hot-rush that will likely end up in a hot mess.
Speaking on Accra-based Class FM, Dr. Monfant pointed out the program lacks nuance and proper targeting and has a rather sweeping outlook that only serves to weaken Ghana’s competitiveness on the world market.
“The One-District-One-Factory initiative that was implemented by the current president is one of the worst strategies of economic policy I have ever seen. I know somebody might argue and say why? The reason is that when you have countries to dominate what you do is that you select an item that will make you more competitive,” Monfant said.
“When you go to Italy, you’ll be looking at fabric and leather shoes. That is their advantage when you go to Germany, you’ll look at pharmaceuticals and automobiles, and then when you take Switzerland, you’ll look at banking and then pharmaceuticals. So, if you come to Ghana and you tell me every district will have to produce, producing for who? Producing for which competitiveness? Producing for which market? Producing for which export?” he asked.
The Akufo-Addo government has claimed that the so-called 1d1f will address Ghana’s main impediment to industrialization – the lack of a manufacturing base.
Supposedly, the program is to build a factory in each of the districts of the country. However, what the President has been commissioning or breaking ground for are hardly factories in the proper sense of the word. Most of them are glorified cottage industries which are the brainchild of individuals.
The government has often been accused of approaching suchlike cottage industries already existing or already been initiated and then slapping its name on it as its initiative.
“When it comes to economy of scale of this nature, it is deliberately planned, it’s calculated, every move and turn of it, the government is aware and they strategically know what they want to do to achieve a clear objective of whatever they produce in this country we don’t have such, in Africa we don’t have that and the one African country that has done well is South Africa,” suggested Dr. Monfant.
“South Africa has been able to produce to Botswana, to Zimbabwe to most of the countries around South Africa, but when you come to West Africa, we are heavily import-dependent, the highest economy in Africa only can export 90 percent being oil which is a natural resource, [so], economy is created not inherited…”