The approval of the $ 2 Billion-plus through the ratification of a Memorandum-of-Understanding (MOU) between the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Chinese government, offers the greatest and most concrete opportunity yet for the development of the industrial base of the country that was thoroughly destroyed by the Rawlings-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime, with the studious and deliberately regressive guidance of the Bretton Woods establishment, to be once again resuscitated since the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP) regime of the 1950s and 1960s (See “Chinese USD $ 2 Billion to Boost ‘One District, One Factory’” 6/24/17).

But what makes President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Development Program more viable and constructive than the so-called CPP-sponsored 7-Year Development Plan that never really got off the ground, is the fact that the Nkrumah plan woefully lacked both originality and organicity. The latter plan lacked originality because it had been lifted hook, line and sinker from the erstwhile Soviet Union (USSR) at a time when the pathologically corrupt and administratively bankrupt Convention People’s Party regime had profligately and effectively run the Ghanaian economy aground.

The Nkrumah plan also lacked organicity because the program’s Russian orientation meant that the factories established would not be able to efficiently capitalize on resources naturally available in their local sub-tropical or equatorial geographical environment. But even more significant, the country at the time woefully lacked the requisite human-resource capacity, or skills and expertise, to profitably manage these factories. So what eventually resulted was that the CPP was able to create more high-end jobs for foreigners, largely Europeans from both Eastern- and Western-Bloc countries than indigenous Ghanaians.

In the case of Nana Akufo-Addo’s “One District, One Factory” Development Program, the factories to be established in the country will be predominantly based on resources available locally as well as locally available human resources or expertise. This, of course, does not hermetically rule out the equally significant foreign capital and technical expertise, under which the “One District, One Factory” Program would be provided by the seemingly genuinely committed and far more technologically advanced Chinese.

But that it is a “Turnkey Program” also significantly means that any factories that are designed to be put into operation would have to be mutually sanctioned by the two major players. But what is even more significant is that China, with the largest industrial market in the world, would also serve as the foremost market of products manufactured by these factories. This does not, of course, mean that China would become our sole global trading partner. What this means is that like what prevails among the NATO countries, Ghana and China would also become “natural” allies and trading partners. This is what our former European colonial overlords ought to have established between us, if Western Powers like Britain, Belgium, France, Canada, the United States of America, Germany, Spain, Italy, Holland and Portugal desired our long-term good, dignity and well-being.

I shall be touching on this subject further in due course. For now, suffice it to say that any attempt to intensify the study of the Arabic language and culture in Ghana must be equally reciprocated by the study of Akan, the most significant Ghanaian language, in the Arab countries. Already, we see quite a remarkable number of Chinese residents in the country speaking and singing Christian religious songs in Akan and other indigenous Ghanaian languages. The wave of the future is mutual respect among the global comity of nations. Our Arab neighbors should not be the exception.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 24, 2017